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October 2, 2014

Advice and Solutions for Minority Entrepreneurs

St. Francis College & Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce Host First Summit

Dozens of business, government, and civic leaders came to the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, September 15 for the inaugural Minority Entrepreneur Summit co-hosted by the St. Francis College Center for Entrepreneurship and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

After an opening from St. Francis College President Brendan J. Dugan ’68 and a welcome from Lou Pastina ‘79, Executive Vice President of NYSE Operations, the tips, advice, and real-world success stories came fast and furious.

(Watch the Entire Summit)

Before introducing the panel of experts, President & CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce Carlo Scissura pointed out the special energy that minority entrepreneurs possess in trying to create a thriving business enterprise. He added that resources are available to help, “We are here to help your business thrive. We are here to help [minority-owned and women-owned businesses (MWBEs)] certify, but it’s more than certification. It’s about certification, and then getting jobs. It’s about certification, and then getting contracts.”

minority summit

The panelists included: Gregg Bishop, Deputy Commissioner of Business Development at NYC Department of Small Business Services; Steven Cohen (Deputy Commissioner of NYS Empire State Development Corporation); Saudia Davis (CEO, GreenHouse Eco-Cleaning); David Ehrenberg (President & CEO, Brooklyn Navy Yard Dev. Corp.); Paul Quintero (CEO, Accion East, Inc.); and Patrick MacKrell, CEO of NYBDC.

The whole event was tied together by emcee Jacqueline Gonzalez, Executive Director of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences & The New York Emmy Awards, who encouraged everyone involved in media to join and take advantage of the networking opportunities NATAS offers.

minority summit

The goal of the Summit is to create new collaborations and partnerships between business leaders, government policymakers, alternative lenders, investors, and entrepreneurs to help solve the unique challenges that minority entrepreneurs face.

St. Francis College also unveiled its latest certificate programs which will launch October 21 and 22. These programs seek to help business owners further develop and refine the skills sets needed to run a successful business or not-for-profit organization.

minority summit

The two programs are a Certificate in Not-For-Profit Governance for directors and officers of non-profit organizations in New York and a Certificate of New Business Creation & Development designed to help new business owners.

“This is the next step in the evolution of our plan to help Brooklyn continue to grow,” said Robert Wu, Assistant Director for Programs at the College’s Center For Entrepreneurship. “Through the Center we plan to become a crucial provider of information and resources to the entire business community.”

Learn more about the Certificate Programs at

St. Francis College, founded in 1859 by the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, is located in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. Since its founding, the College has pursued its Franciscan mission to provide an affordable, high-quality education to students from New York City’s five boroughs and beyond.


St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201

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