Mayor Announces Three New Mentorship Programs for M/WBEs

Image Credit: Small Business Services

Three new mentorship programs are available for minority owned and women-owned small business in NYC. On January 7, 2021, Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Jonnel Dorris announced three new mentorship programs, ‘Small Business Mentors NYC,’ ‘Black Entrepreneurs NYC Mentors (BE NYC Mentors),’ and ‘Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE Mentors).’

The mentorship programs will provide current and aspiring entrepreneurs with industry expert guidance to help entrepreneurs start and grow their business in a post-COVID era. Small Business Mentors NYC is a mentorship program for existing storefront business owners who are seeking to recover and, or grow their businesses. BE NYC Mentors is the City’s inaugural mentorship program for Black entrepreneurs in the pre-startup stage and early stages of operating their businesses. The program intends to incase the amount of Black-owned businesses emerging in high-growth industries. M/WBE Mentor is the City’s first peer mentorship program for certified Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs). The program intends to help M/WBEs expand their professional network, recourses, and contracting opportunities.

The mentorship programs are hosting online events. The Small Business Mentors NYC and BE NYC Mentors is hosting an online launch event on Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 5:30-7:30 EST. M/WBE Mentors is hosting an online certification workshop on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 2:00-3:30 EST.

Small Business Mentors NYC, include:

  • Mark Connell, Owner, Botanica Bar
  • Kalima De Suze, Owner, Cafe con Libros
  • Ayala Donchin, Founder & Executive Chef, Evelyn’s Kitchen
  • Yolanda Felder, Life Coach and TV Host, The Yolanda Felder Show
  • Carmen Ferreyra, CEO, Porteñas
  • Zhenya Globazh, Co-founder, Shiba500
  • Maria Iglesias and Cynthia Shephard, Mother/Daughter Owners, Corazon de Mexico Restaurant & Bar
  • Dawn Kelly, CEO, The Nourish Spot
  • Yoon Joo Lee, CEO, Janchi Myeonga
  • Dorian Mercir, Founder & CEO, Dorian’s Seafood Market
  • Janna Meyrowitz Turner, President, Style House
  • Karen Mitchell, CEO, True Indian Hair
  • Mary Nittolo, Founder & Creative Director, The Studio
  • Aysha Saeed, CEO, Creative Director, Aysha New York
  • Zachary Sharaga, Owner, Dear Mama Coffee
  • Echo Wu, Executive, Shaxian Snacks

BE NYC Mentors, include:

  • Kim Fontaine, Esq, Owner, Perry Blair Consulting
  • Malla Haridat, Owner, New Designs for Life Training Company
  • Mark Hayles, Founder & CEO, Better Local Business Agency LLC
  • Ariane Hunter, Founder, Project She Went for Her Dreams
  • Gayle Jennings-O’Byrne, CEO, WOCstar Fund
  • Yannize Joshua, Co-owner & Managing Partner, The Teknique Group
  • Kofi Kankam, Founder, me
  • Alain Leroy, Chief Operating and Innovation Officer, The Gentlemen’s Factory
  • Celeste Morris, President, MorrisAllsop Public Affairs
  • Tiffany Joy Murchinson, CEO, TJM & Company
  • Nekpen Osuan, Principle, WomenWerk
  • Ayme Sinclair, CEO & Founder, Sinclair Social
  • Khalilah Webster, Co-founder & COO, Vanguarde Consulting Group and Managing Partner at Minority Venture Partners
  • Precious Williams, CEO, Perfect Pitches by Precious
  • Ron J. Williams, Head of Strategy, Citi Ventures D10X

M/WBE Mentors, include:

  • Penda Aiken, President and CEO, Penda Aiken, Inc
  • Hugo E. Almeida, CEO, Abitronix, LLC
  • Denise Arboleda, Vice-President of Sales, Compulink Technologies, Inc.
  • KY Chow, President, GM Printing\
  • Micoy Hamilton, CEO, Nifty Concept, Inc.
  • Barbara Armand Kushner, President, Armand Corporation
  • Colleen Molter, President, QED National
  • Nayan Parikh, Founder & President, Ashnu International, Inc.
  • Rafael Perez, Jr., President, GCCOM Construction Company, Inc.
  • James Peterson, CEO/ Executive Chef, A.T. w/ Culinary Arts Professionals
  • Francilia Wilkins Rahim, CEO, F. Wilkins Consultants
  • Elizabeth Velez, President, Velez Organization

Mayor Bill de Blasio stated, “The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every small business in our city – but our Black entrepreneurs and Minority and Women-Owned Businesses have been hit especially hard…[t]hese businesses will be the beating heart of our economic recovery, and New York City is committed to giving them the guidance and advice they need to succeed in this pandemic and beyond.”

SBS Commissioner Jonnel Doris stated that, “mentorship, especially from business owners who have faced similar challenges, is a key component of business success…[o]ur growing list of mentors come from a range of industries…and are ready to guide minority and women owned businesses, entrepreneurs recovering from COVID-19, and emerging entrepreneurs launching the businesses of tomorrow.”

To learn more about the mentorship programs visit

By: Sarah Cobble (Sarah is the CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2022.)


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