Governor Cuomo Launches Immigrant Entrepreneurship Training Series

More than 100 immigrant entrepreneurship seminars will be held throughout New York State in coming year.

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Albany, NY - April 8, 2014 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched the Immigrant Entrepreneurship Training Series to help immigrants across New York State start and grow businesses. More than 100 immigrant entrepreneurship seminars will be held throughout New York State in the coming year, with the first series beginning this month.

“This training program will help immigrants throughout the State open and lead thriving businesses that in turn create jobs,” Governor Cuomo said. “Immigrants have long been the backbone of New York’s economic success, and today we stand proud to lend a hand to those working to improve their communities and build a better life for their families.”

The Immigrant Entrepreneurship Training Series is run jointly by the New York State Office for New Americans, Empire State Development (ESD) and the New York State Small Business Development Centers (SBDC). These unique "on-ramping" courses will provide budding and current immigrant entrepreneurs an overview of starting, running and growing a business. Participants will be assessed as to their level of business knowledge at the end of the seminar. Based on their knowledge, experience and standing in the business start-up and growth process, participants are offered follow-up one-on-one business coaching sessions or a more intensive multi-week course. At the end of either track, individuals will have completed a business plan or portfolio and gain access to various federal, state and private small business loan programs.

The first round of these trainings begins this month and requires pre-registration. Seminar dates will be posted on the New York State Office for New Americans website, which can be viewed here.

Immigrants are vital contributors to New York State's economy. According to the
Immigration Policy Center, in 2010, 31.2 percent of all business owners in New York State were foreign-born. That number rises to 36 percent in the New York City metropolitan area. These businesses had a total net business income of $12.6 billion, representing 22.6 percent of all net business income in the state. New York's immigrants are responsible for $229 billion in annual economic output.

"New York State has always been a magnet for talented and hardworking individuals in search of prosperity," said New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales. "By providing New Americans with the tools and guidance they need to start their own businesses, we are investing in a group of entrepreneurs who will make vital economic contributions to our State."

"We are pleased to participate in the Immigrant Entrepreneurship Training Series and bring valuable information about our programs and financial and technical assistance directly to our immigrant communities," said ESD President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. "Small businesses are the foundation and the future of the State's economy and it is critical we provide the support they need to prosper. Thanks to the Governor's continued commitment to small business and MWBE growth, this training series will be another step forward in our efforts to create new economic opportunities for all New Yorkers."

"The New American community represents a very entrepreneurial sector that brings great diversity and energy to many of our most dynamic communities," said New York SBDC State Director James King. "We're looking forward to working with the New York State Office for New Americans to assist the participants in planning and growing businesses that will bring added vitality to our state."

The New York State Small Business Development Centers and ESD’s Entrepreneurial Assistance Program are the partner organizations for these seminars. The New York State SBDC provides small business advisement services; training and business research to business owners and entrepreneurs throughout New York State. ESD’s Entrepreneurial Assistance Program establishes Entrepreneurial Assistance Centers (EAC's) in local communities to provide instruction, training, technical assistance and support services to individuals who have recently started their own business or are interested in starting a business. The program's 24 EAC centers are strategically located throughout New York State and are poised to assist the Office for New Americans with helping these new and aspiring entrepreneurs build the foundation they need to realize the dream of business ownership.

Governor Cuomo established the New York State Office for New Americans to assist newcomers in the State who are eager to contribute to our economy and become part of the family of New York. The cornerstone of the Office is the creation of a network of 27 neighborhood-based Opportunity Centers throughout the State to support New Americans to learn English, become naturalized U.S. citizens, receive Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and receive free legal advice and other opportunities. More than 34,000 immigrants were assisted by the Office for New Americans during its first year of operations.

This effort builds on the Cuomo Administration’s dedication to helping immigrants fully participate in the State's civic and economic life. Previously, the Administration suspended participation in the federal Secure Communities program when concerns were raised about the implementation of the program as well as its impact on families, immigrant communities and law enforcement in New York.

Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 8 expanding the State's minority and women-owned business enterprise contracting goal to 20 percent. In October of last year, the Governor exceeded the 20 percent goal in awarding contracts to minority and women-owned firms. The State also launched an innovative public-private partnership with The Cooper Union and Bnai Zion Foundation to retain high-skilled immigrants for jobs in science, technology, engineering and math.

Additionally, the Governor issued Executive Order 26 requiring state agencies that provide direct public services to offer free interpretation and translation services to members of the public for vital forms and instructions. Most recently, Governor Cuomo announced a major settlement agreement that helps make communities more just and affordable by ending the reported harassment and intimidation of mainly Spanish-speaking immigrant tenants in nearly 1,800 apartments within 49 buildings in Harlem, Washington Heights, Brooklyn and the South Bronx