Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced three new steps to make it easier for immigrant-owned businesses to start and grow in New York City: a business plan competition for innovative strategies to provide assistance to immigrant entrepreneurs; new, free NYC Business Solution courses in Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and Russian; and a business expo to showcase locally-based immigrant food manufacturing businesses and link them to consumers nationwide.
The initiatives are a result of a yearlong series of roundtables with community groups and are part of the City’s agenda to support immigrant communities and empower them to grow and create jobs. Mayor Bloomberg announced the initiatives at a Center for Migration Studies and Levin Institute conference on U.S. immigration reform at the Levin Institute in Manhattan.
“The Bloomberg Administration is focused on promoting entrepreneurship and supporting New York City-based ventures, many of which come out of the City’s immigrant communities,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel. “Nearly half of all self-employed workers in New York City are foreign-born, and we’re committed to nurturing their entrepreneurial spirit and helping them make their businesses successful.”
New York City’s immigrant population has more than doubled since 1970 – from roughly 1.4 million to 3 million – and immigrants now represent nearly 40 percent of the City’s population and 43 percent of the City’s labor force.
The immigrant entrepreneur support competition, a joint-effort of the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, will challenge entrants to propose innovative, scalable ideas to assist immigrant entrepreneurs.