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New Initiative Aims to Boost Business for Female Entrepreneurs

HOST INTRO:The city launched a new initiative today to support women entrepreneurs. It’s a marketing campaign to encourage people to spend their money at female-owned businesses. Alex Colletta has more.

COLLETTA: Businesses owned by women generate $50 billion a year in sales in New York City. But when it comes to borrowing money, women entrepreneurs have a tougher time than men. According to the New York City Economic Development Corporation, only 2% of venture capital funding goes to businesses with all-female teams.

GLEN: If people really tell you the truth about what they need it’s access to capital and to capital that treats them fairly so they can grow their businesses. (0:12)

That’s Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen. She helped kick off the Shop Women Owned NYC campaign in Union Square today—the first day of Women’s History Month. The campaign urges people to shop at women-owned companies throughout the month of March.

GLEN: Let’s start with a monthlong initiative and prove the thesis that when given the choice of where to spend money, we’ll put our money where our mouth is and we will actually go out and support women-owned retailers, food establishments, and ultimately, women who make the goods and the makers. (0:15)

The campaign will promote businesses on LinkNYC kiosks, bus shelters, and on social media. There’ll be decals on storefronts too.

FERREJA: Do women count as minorities? Unfortunately, in the business world, we do. (0:09)

That’s Carmen Ferreja. She just opened a Yerba Mate tea company three weeks ago. She says she encountered problems that went beyond money. She had issues when she was constructing her store.

FERREJA: Construction workers, they don’t pay attention to you. They are like, ‘Oh she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.’ I know about installation. I’m an art curator, so I know that that thing is crooked, it’s not straight. But unless a guy will tell him that, then they wouldn’t pay attention. (0:15)

The city plans to look at the sales numbers after the campaign to see the impact it’s had on local businesses. Again, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen:

GLEN: Everything is only as good as the metrics and the results, right? Not that you want to be a total data nerd but we do need to say like okay before the initiative and after the initiative what are the results.

Glen says that if the campaign goes well, it’ll give city government and others even more incentive to invest in women-owned businesses.

From Columbia Radio News, I’m Alex Colletta.


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