Welcome to the BOC Network Newsletter
BOC Network would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to our new quarterly newsletter which will feature our programs, clients, and partnerships.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our friends for their generous support: Aetna
, Banque Paribas
, Capital One
, Champagnie Dawkins CPAs, PLLC
, Consortium for Worker Education
, Deutsche Bank
, DIstrict Council 9 New York IUPAT
, The Driscoll Group
, J.P. Morgan Chase
, Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund
, M&T Bank
, N. Cheng & Co., P.C.
, New York City Council
, New York City Small Business Services
, New York Community Trust
, New York State OTDA
, New York Women's Foundation
, Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow
, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, Spring Bank
, U.S. Small Business Administration
, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
, Wells Fargo
Congratulations to BOC's 100th Child Care Training Class
BOC Network recently completed the 100th training cycle of its Child Care Means Business program. This 60-hour training program provides participants with the knowledge, resources, and confidence to successfully start, maintain, or expand their own high quality, licensed, home-based child care businesses. "These businesses deliver vital services to their communities and provide a nurturing environment for the children in their care," said Nancy Carin, BOC's Executive Director, "while expanding economic opportunities for the providers as well as the parents who benefit from their services."
With eighteen students hailing from all corners of the world--including Mauritania, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Nepal, India, and the West Indies--this class is one of the most diverse in BOC's history. Sia Pickett, coordinator and instructor of the child care program refers to this group as her "United Nations class."
There are many individual stories in this groups' tapestry. Rosaline Jenkins, for example, has been interested in becoming a child care provider for many years but struggled to access the training and capital necessary to do so. She discovered BOC on the internet and decided to attend the free child care training class to get, in her words, "as much experience in the child care industry as possible." Now that she has completed her training, Rosaline hopes to become a licensed child care provider and establish an after school program in Queens.
Rosaline is not alone. BOC's Child Care Means Business Training courses have been empowering aspiring child care providers since 2003. Classes are offered in multiple locations around New York and are taught in English, Spanish, and Russian. The success of the child care training program is reflected in the outcomes of its alumni. Over the course of ten years more than 1,200 clients have graduated from BOC's child care courses, and 50% of these graduates have gone on to open, maintain or expand their own home-based child care businesses. We wish all of the graduates of BOC's 100th class great success in their future endeavors as well! (Check out BOC Network's Facebook page for more images from the class.)
Success Story: Bogota Latin Bistro
Proud to be part of the economic engine of Brooklyn, George Constantinou and Farid Ali-Lancheros, owners of Bogota Latin Bistro, are model entrepreneurs with a community conscience. Their singular focus on research and planning led to a strong start in the challenging restaurant industry.
Bogota Latin Bistro opened in 2005 and went on to generate over a million dollars in sales in its first twelve months of business. The 120-seat restaurant has grown increasingly popular since its opening, creating over 60 community jobs. Constantinou and Ali-Lancheros' dedication and energy enabled them to persevere through the daunting start-up phase of opening a new restaurant. After being denied loans by 12 different banks, they combined winnings of $20,000 in cash and services from the top prize in the inaugural Brooklyn Business Plan Competition with hard-won bank financing and microloans, including $25,000 from BOC Capital Corp. to launch Bogota Latin Bistro. "No one wanted to back us," said Mr. Constantinou. "BOC was talking the talk and making themselves available. They reeled us into their world, and mindset."
From the start, the owners worked hard to create a warm and imaginative backdrop for Bogota Latin Bistro's appealing Columbian/Pan-Latin cuisine. Their focus on ethical business practices and 360 degree professionalism lie at the heart of their success. Mr. Constantinou credits their accomplishments to their strong family backgrounds: "We come from immigrant parents and appreciate the value of hard work, and we pass that on to our employees so they can be successful in their own right." Mr. Ali-Lancheros agreed: "We work right here, side by side with our employees, constantly learning and evolving as business owners." Their managerial style is thoughtful, structured, and aspirational-infused with reward and respect. The business offers employee health insurance and paid time off, it hires from the neighborhood and promotes from within-all on the path to developing a dynamic team of people.
For their contributions to their community and the positive impact they have made toward economic growth and the New York small business community Constantinou and Ali-Lancheros were recently honored with the SBA's 2013 New York District Office Small Business Person of the Year Award.
Celebrating Entrepreneurship Benefit Reception
This summer, BOC Network held a Benefit Reception to support local underserved entrepreneurs and celebrate the successes of small businesses across NYC's diverse communities. The reception was held at the elegant Eva Scrivo Salon and featured donations from a number of local businesses including a special whiskey and gin tasting by award winning Breuckelen Distilling alongside delicious food from Bogota Latin Bistro, East Village Cheese and Robicelli's. The eighty-five guests in attendance were treated to a moving vocal performance by Karima Porter and Ebony Witsell as well as background music by Batista.
Several entrepreneurs, including Eva Scrivo, her husband and partner Arik Efros, and Tasha Stoudemire took the floor at the event, and shared their stories and experiences about starting and growing their businesses, and the challenges they faced along the way. BOC also took the opportunity to recognize out-going Board Member Seth Edwards, Vice-President of Global Philanthropy (Brooklyn/Staten Island) at JP Morgan Chase for his community building role. "Mr. Edwards' wisdom and guidance has contributed significant value to our organization over the years," said BOC Executive Director Nancy Carin, "we wanted to thank him for his commitment to underserved communities and groups and his dedicated service in advancing the prospects of microentrepreneurs and small businesses."
"Thanks to all of our contributors for making this event possible," said Ms. Carin, "we were thrilled with the response and look forward to hosting more events like this in the future."