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With Staten Island experiencing an official unemployment rate of 9.4 percent—up from 3.0 percent a year ago—and relatively few new job openings on the horizon, entrepreneurship and self-employment could become an increasingly important pathway for low-income New Yorkers to earn income and provide for their families during the road to economic recovery. But while the borough has no shortage of highly creative and entrepreneurial residents, many New Yorkers from lower-income communities don’t see business formation or self-employment as a viable path, even in better economic times—and many who do aspire to start a business are stymied by the numerous obstacles along the way.
The fourth in CUF's five-borough forum series on encouraging and supporting low-income entrepreneurship, this event explored whether low-income entrepreneurship should be among the strategies city policymakers pursue to help those hardest hit by the pandemic boost incomes and generate wealth. It discussed what’s needed to support first-time entrepreneurs from low-income communities on Staten Island, and examined how to ensure that more of the Staten Islanders from low-income backgrounds who do turn to entrepreneurship have the tools and resources to succeed. Our forum featured a panel of Staten Island-based entrepreneurs from lower-income backgrounds in conversation with local entrepreneurship experts and city officials.
This symposium is made possible through generous support from Richmond County Savings Foundation. We are also grateful for general support from The Clark Foundation and the Bernard F. and Alva B. Gimbel Foundation, and ongoing support from a number of other philanthropic funders.
Center for an Urban Future is a catalyst for smart and sustainable policies that reduce inequality, increase economic mobility, and grow the economy in NYC.
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