New York (PRESS RELEASE – March 6, 2011) – The Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation announced the launch of a competition, in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), designed to identify, develop, and support innovative programs that address the needs of immigrant entrepreneurs in New York City. The competition is one of a series of initiatives announced earlier today by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg that focus on the City’s immigrant population and are specifically intended to build business capacity, promote innovation, and link businesses with customers.
The juried competition will invite community-based organizations, immigrant advocacy groups, and other nonprofits to submit a plan that addresses one or more of a range of unique challenges immigrant entrepreneurs face that can impede business development, such as language barriers and access to credit or business consultation services. Participants will submit proposals starting in early summer 2011, and finalists will be selected by the judging panel. Five finalists will be provided with a seed grant of up to $25,000 to pilot their business plans. The winner of the overall competition will receive a grant of up to $100,000 to continue and expand its program.
Immigrants now comprise more than one-third of New York City’s population and nearly half of the labor force. “The opportunities for immigrant entrepreneurs continue to grow, but so do the challenges as well,” said Gary Hattem, President of the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation. “Our partnership with the Economic Development Corporation, as part of the Mayor’s broad initiatives, intends to address the business needs of this talented and vital population, employing a competition framework to recognize best-in-class business support programs.”
“The Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation seeks to leverage investment banking’s best practices and apply them to the public-private partnership model, particularly to identify talent and top-shelf companies that show promise in their respective industries,” said Seth Waugh, CEO of Deutsche Bank Americas. “As a foreign-identified firm in a truly global city, we are sympathetic to the needs of newcomers who wish to prosper