Women’s Initiative to Host Inaugural Gala in NYC to Honor Two Role Models for Women Business Owners

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Women's Initiative of New York City will host its first gala to honor role models for women in business and raise funding and support for low-income women entrepreneurs.

Not only are we celebrating the accomplishments of Edith and Dylan, but this also commemorates our first full year of operations in New York and the 25th anniversary of Women's Initiative.

The New York office of Women’s Initiative for Self Employment (“Women’s Initiative”), a nationally recognized nonprofit that helps high-potential, low-income women start their own businesses, is hosting its first gala on October 16th in New York City to honor two influential women business leaders: candy entrepreneur Dylan Lauren and financial executive Edith Cooper.

As Women’s Initiative’s 2013 Gala Honoree, Edith Cooper is global head of Human Capital Management for Goldman Sachs, where she has been an executive vice president since 2011. Dylan Lauren, Entrepreneur of the Year, is founder and CEO of Dylan’s Candy Bar, a chain of candy stores featuring unique confections from around the world. “Ms. Lauren is being honored because she is an inspiration for so many women striving to start their own businesses; and Ms. Cooper has demonstrated leadership for countless women working on Wall Street,” said Antonia Bowring, executive director of the New York operation for Women’s Initiative.

In addition, the event hopes to raise much needed funds to offer training, funding and ongoing support to low-income women of New York City. "I can't wait to welcome everyone to our first New York gala. Not only are we celebrating the accomplishments of Edith and Dylan, but this also commemorates our first full year of operations in New York and the 25th anniversary of Women's Initiative’s successful work with low-income women entrepreneurs,” said Bowring.

During the gala, 12 Women’s Initiative graduates will be featured in a marketplace to promote their new businesses and products – including jewelry designers, a hat maker, an herbalist and a greeting card entrepreneur among others.

Since opening in New York in 2012, over 350 women have attended business readiness workshops and more than 95 have taken the business planning course. Significant growth is expected in 2014, with class selections doubling and the launch of the Spanish language program.

The event has garnered support through several sponsors, including Citibank, Cooley, Duff & Phelps, The Leader's Edge/Leaders By Design, Morrison & Forester, Protiviti, Robert Half, SunStar Strategic, Sutherland, Reese & Richman LLP and others.

For more information on the gala and to purchase a ticket or sponsor, visit http://www.womensinitiative.org/getinvolved/events/NYgala2013.htm.

To arrange an interview with Edith Cooper, Dylan Lauren, Antonia Bowring or the featured Women’s Initiative graduates, contact Katie Bird at kbird(at)sunstarstrategic(dot)com.

About Women’s Initiative
For 25 years, Women’s Initiative for Self Employment has been providing high-potential, low-income women with the business training, funding and ongoing support to start their own businesses and become economically self sufficient. A national nonprofit, Women’s Initiative offers business management training, technical assistance, and financial services, in English and Spanish, in New York, Oakland and San Francisco. Our program helps improve the quality of life for the women we serve, their families and our communities. The women who go through our program significantly increase their income and assets while launching businesses, creating jobs and stimulating the local economy. In 2012, recent graduates of our program created and retained more than 5,300 jobs! For more information, please visit http://www.womensinitiative.org.

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