Participating organizations were supposed to come up with financially sustainable business plans to address the challenges faced by immigrant entrepreneurs in New York City.
The QEDC came up with the best plan and will get $100,000 to further expand their foreign language home improvement contractor training program.
Business Outreach Center (BOC) Network was chosen as the runner-up, and will receive $25,000 to implement a new lending platform and help immigrant businesses overcome financing obstacles.
The winners were announced by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, and Baruch College at an award ceremony.
Organizations in the competition were supposed to which include plans which focused on improving access to credit for the city’s immigrant entrepreneurs, along with financial management, language barriers, and access to business networks.
QEDC and BOC Network were two of five organizations that were selected in the Fall last year to receive $25,000 of seed funding to pilot their business plans. The $100,000 and $25,000 given to QEDC and BOC Network is in addition to the earlier seed funding.
“Supporting our City’s immigrant entrepreneurs is vital to the success of New York City’s economy,” said NYCEDC president Seth W. Pinsky. “By making critical seed funding available, Competition THRIVE has encouraged highly respected organizations such as QEDC to implement innovative programs that address the unique challenges facing these entrepreneurs, allowing them to grow their businesses across the five boroughs.”
With their $25,000 seed funding, QEDC had launched a pilot program to assist immigrant home improvement contractors overcome language barriers. QEDC provided assistance to 87 Chinese speaking contractors in their native language to take the Department of Consumer Affairs licensing test. All 87 who took the test passed.
With the additional $100,000 it now has, QEDC will be expanding the program to include support for Spanish speaking immigrants.
The three other finalist organizations, who each received $25,000 in seed funding, were ACCION USA, Make the Road NY (MRNY), and Washington Heights and Inwood Development Corporation (WHIDC).
During the competition, each of the five finalists were helped by Baruch with technical assistance for each organization to build their capacity to plan and launch new initiatives that could be financially sustainable following an initial up-front investment.
New York City now has an immigrant population of 3 million, representing 40 percent of the city’s population and 43 percent of its workforce. Immigrants make up 49 percent of all self-employed workers in the City compared to 25 percent in New York State and only 12 percent in the U.S.