New NYC Program Creates Pathway for 5,000 Women Entrepreneurs From Low-Income Areas

New York City’s Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen is creating a pathway of career success for thousands of local women who come from underserved communities.

The new initiative, Women Entrepreneurs NYC, also known as WE NYC, will offer free training and business services to 5,000 female entrepreneurs in the next three years. Offering loan negotiation workshops, connections to capital, pro-bono legal assistance, and navigating government resources, Glen has partnered with the Department of Small Business Services (SBS), Citi  and Goldman Sach’s 10,000 Small Business program to help make this new initiative possible.

Under this new partnership, Citi is providing $425,000 to help New York City Housing Authority Residents launch their own business, while Goldman Sach’s will help to educate the entrepreneurs on how to access capital. Grameen America will provide the women with further business-building services and LaGuardia Community College will offer intensive entrepreneurship classes to help the women successfully navigate their way in the marketplace.

[Related: Uber Pledges to Create 1 Million New Jobs For Women by 2020]

A report released by the New York Women’s Foundation shows that 25 percent of the four million women and girls in New York City live at or below the federal poverty level, which is why Glen said the state’s latest initiative is focused on serving the poorer communities.

“For us, it’s really exciting to have the city of New York, for the first time, take a look at all of the different opportunities and challenges that entrepreneurs face, and put a gender lens on it,” Fast Company reports Glen saying. “The fact that women-owned businesses are growing so fast means that we know there are really smart, hungry, ambitious women out there, so we don’t have a talent or drive problem. The problem is somewhere else in the widget. Something else is not working. There’s a market failure, and this is where government should and can intervene and have the highest impact.”