Woman entrepreneurship on the rise in New York


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Graduates from the Women’s Enterprise Development Center completed a 60 hour training program.

Najee Walker, Assoc. Editor

Across the United States, women are dominating entrepreneurship, and the business owning field. The number of women business owners in America has increased dramatically over nearly 20 years. It is considered one of the fastest growing groups in America today. Women in New York State have heard the call of business owning, and are taking all the necessary steps to become part of this ever-growing field.

From 1997 to 2015, the 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report showed that women-owned businesses grew at a rate of about 1.5 times the national average. African American women make up about 14 percent of the women-owned businesses in America, which rounds off to about 1.3 million businesses.

In White Plains, NY, the Women’s Enterprise Development Center (WEDC) educates women on how to develop their own businesses, teaching them the ins-and-outs of marketing, and social media. WEDC ultimately leads women to understand if entrepreneurship is right for them. The women in the program go through a 60-hour training program to help realize their passion for owning a business.

Recently, WEDC has had their latest batch of graduating students. The students of the most recent program all had different ideas going into the program, but all had an ambition to be a leader in business owning.

Brooke Pizarro, a former surgical technologist, saw her opportunity when she had to leave work due to an injury. With a love of cooking, she decided that she would open up “A Fish A Day,” a food truck in Yonkers, NY that would sell soul and Spanish style foods.

“The soul-Spanish experience!” Pizarro said.

Pizarro has been told for years that her cooking is great, and she should open a restaurant. Thanks to the help at WEDC, she will be the first black woman to own a food truck in the Yonkers area.

“WEDC is a wonderful institution providing women with the resources to start their own

businesses,” Pizarro said. “The staff and instructors are knowledgeable and attentive.”

Marquita Flowers, who graduated with Pizarro in February, agreed.

“Taking the WEDC 60 Hour Entrepreneurial Training Course has been an invaluable experience,” Flowers said. “It allowed me to gain more in depth understanding of the fundamentals of starting your own business.” Flowers is the publisher of Gemini, a quarterly art magazine that will feature music and art of young black men and women.

Women in the Buffalo area looking for similar opportunities to the women from WEDC are encouraged to check out the Women’s Business Center at Canisius College. Similar to WEDC, the Women’s Business Center focuses on training, and networking to help and empower women to have their own businesses.

Buffalo State students are encouraged to visit the Small Business Development Center to find out how they can start their own business while they’re still in college.

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