Ms. Boss Academy Graduates Its First Entrepreneur

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Going From Public Assistance to Business Owner: How 27-Year-Old Mother of Three Did It

Small business owners create jobs. We need more jobs to help the economy bounce back. You can start a business even if you are on public assistance. See how one young lady started her own business.

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On Tuesday February 9, 2010, Ms. Boss Academy, which is a collaboration between Ms. Boss International and My Sistahz Keeper, held a small ceremony for Zoey Wiggins who was the first person to graduate from the pilot entrepreneurship program. Zoey attends My Sistahz Keeper in Jersey City, New Jersey through the AWEP/CWEP program for women who are on public assistance. There were 13 other women who also attended the program and who were enrolled in Ms. Boss Academy, but only Zoey completed the 8 week business start-up program. The women who are also on public assistance dropped out of the entrepreneurship program for a variety of reasons. The program walked Zoey through the basics of starting a business right up to creating a presence on the Internet by setting up a website.

By some standards some may view the entrepreneurship program as a failure because only one person graduated, but to Audrey Bell-Kearney who is the CEO of Ms. Boss International and the creator of the Ms. Boss Academy program she views that one graduate as a success. She states that you have to understand the population that you are working with. The goal here is to help these women learn how to become self-sufficient so that public assistance is no longer needed.
By helping one person learn how to start and run their own business successfully, this will open up doors of employment for others. Small businesses fuel the economy and right not that economy needs some fuel with the national unemployment rate around 10%.

Kiwan Fitch who is the Executive Director of My Sistahz Keeper has gone a step further by turning one of the office spaces inside the My Sistahz Keepers headquarters into a small business incubator for the graduates of Ms. Boss Academy. Kiwan who is one of the co-founders of My Sistahz Keeper a non-profit organization understands that small businesses need to be nurtured so that they can grow. This is why she has opened up another door for these women offering them the space so that they can stay connected to positive people who have goals and dreams that they want to see come true.

To keep the graduates connected there will be ongoing mentoring from Audrey and also from Stephanie Wilson who is the Program Director at My Sistahz Keeper. Zoey who has only been an entrepreneur for about two months already understand from going through the Ms. Boss Academy program how important mentors are that is why she has stepped up to be a mentor with GEN (Gurls Empowerment Network) another program offered by My Sistazh Keeper for teenage girls.

The next Ms. Boss Academy is scheduled to start on March 2, 2010. Audrey who created the curriculum and facilitates the program hopes that more women take advantage of the program this time, but if they don’t as long as we can graduate at least one the program is still a success.

To find out more about the Ms. Boss Academy contact Audrey at 888-229-1238 or email her at Audrey(at)msboss(dot)net. For more information about the programs that are offered by My Sistazh Keeper call 201-706-2107 or email Kiwan at KFitch(at)MySistahzKeeper(dot)org. You can also visit the websites for both companies at and


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