NYC Immigrant Entrepreneur awards & Mobile Technology Panel Discussion - Monday, April 22nd, 8:30am, 120 Broadway

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Business Center for New Americans, a NYC-based microlender, honors outstanding immigrant entrepreneurs from the 5 boroughs. A panel discussion will then be held on "How Mobile Technology Can Boost Your Business".

Third Annual BCNA Immigrant Heritage Week Awards
Honor Outstanding Immigrant Entrepreneurs
During New York City's 2013 Immigrant Heritage Week

    Contact:    Mary Lynn Halland, 917-657-0943, marylynn(at)crny(dot)net
    Leonid Ostrovsky, 212-898-4130, lostrovsky(at)nybcna(dot)org

New York, April 16, 2013 - In recognition of the important role immigrant entrepreneurs play in the economy of New York City, the Business Center for New Americans (BCNA) will mark Immigrant Heritage Week, April 17 to 24, by honoring inspiring NYC immigrant entrepreneurs and participants in our Individual Development Account (IDA) Program for Refugees. Matilde Roman, Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, will present the awards at the BCNA Immigrant Heritage Week Awards 2013 on Monday, April 22. The award ceremony will take place at 120 Broadway, 8:30 am, and is open to the public at no charge.

The 2013 Boot Strap Entrepreneur Award will be given to a refugee from Mauritania, a telecommunications company in Brooklyn, with a few hundred dollars.

Dr. Michael Danielov, a Russian immigrant and founder of BIONOVA Inc., a manufacturer of skincare products, will be honored with the 2013 Jobs Creation Award for creating eight jobs while continuing to grow his business.

Samal Nur and Abdul Diallo will both receive the New Beginning Award.

Nur came to the United States as a refugee from Kazakhstan in 2009. She enrolled in BCNA’s IDA program, and invested her savings and match grant in a training program at the Aveda Beauty Institute. In 2012, she successfully completed her training as a cosmetologist and is now working in a prestigious salon.

Diallo came to the United States as a refugee from Guinea in 2009. With a high school education and some mastery of English, Diallo found part-time cashier work and enrolled full-time in community college. After learning about the Business Center for New Americans through fellow refugees, he participated in The Basics of Money and Assets workshop, saved his money and received a dollar-for-dollar IDA match grant, with which he purchased a desktop computer and an iPad to support his college studies.

The Corporate Leadership Award will be awarded to Jill Kelly, Deputy Regional Director, New York & Connecticut Region, Citi Community Development, on behalf of Citi Community Development. Citi Community Development has been an enthusiastic and generous supporter of the BCNA Microenterprise Program since 1998.

Additionally, a panel of experts will discuss How Mobile Technology Can Boost Your Business. The panelists will include Deepti Sharma Kapur, CEO, Food to Eat; Thomas Ko, Global Product Head of Mobile Citi Transaction Services, Citibank; Reshma Saujani, former Deputy Public Advocate of NYC and Founder of Girls who Code; and Yevegeniy Mordkovich, Founder, EVELO, Electric Bicycle Company. The discussion will be moderated by Foulis Peacock, CEO of, a website featuring immigrant entrepreneur success stories.

BCNA Executive Director Yanki Tshering will also be announcing the results of a survey BCNA recently conducted, examining the state of mobile phone adoption among immigrant entrepreneur communities.

“We are enormously grateful to Citibank and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, for shining the spotlight on the tremendous contribution made by immigrant entrepreneurs in NYC. We are especially glad to be able to support immigrant entrepreneurs, who are playing a vital, if little known, role in stimulating economic development in New York” says Yanki Tshering.

Immigrant Heritage Week, an initiative of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, is a collaboration of a diverse group of city, state, and community organizations featuring cultural events in all five boroughs celebrating the city’s immigrant communities.

The Business Center for New Americans (BCNA) is a provider of U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) microloans and loans funded by the CDFI Fund, US Department of the Treasury, in New York City. BCNA has made more than $10 million in microloans and provides essential training in business management and technology to more than 450 businesses each year. To date, more than 1300 refugees have participated in BCNA’s IDA Program and have invested more than $23 million to realize their dream of home ownership, owning their own micro-businesses, and furthering their education and vocational training in America. BCNA’s IDA Program and microenterprise services to refugees are funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) at the Department of Health and Human Services. For more information, please visit

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Mary Lynn Halland
Business Center for New Americans
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