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BCNA CLIENTS CREATE ART

Bernard Domingo, a refugee from Zimbabwe, creates colorful and unique sculptures in wire and beads.  A graduate of BCNA's IDA Program, he invested his savings and IDA matching funds to buy supplies and tools for his business. That plus loan from BCNA enabled him to participate in trade shows and create marketing materials, as well as enhance his website and develop an on-line marketing strategy.  

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BCNA CLIENTS PURSUE THEIR DREAMS

Zhuldyz came to New York in 2010 from Kazakhstan, where she had earned an associate degree in teaching English. When she got to New York, she wanted to pursue a long-held dream: becoming a makeup artist. Although she had some experience in her home country, she needed formal training to work in the United States. Because she has a family, she was eligible for a larger IDA grant of up to $4,000. She met her goal and used the funds to pay for tuition at a leading industry school. Her professional certification allows her to work for fashion shows, TV, and weddings.

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BCNA CLIENTS KNOW HOW TO ENTERTAIN

Ravindra  is the owner of Parsons Ale House, a sports bar/lounge that features draft beer, specialty ales, and traditional American food, as well as an area to watch sports and enjoy other forms of entertainment. A small business loan from BCNA provided this business with the cash flow it needed to open its doors.

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BCNA CLIENTS ARE INDUSTRY LEADERS

Nancy began driving a taxi in 2009 and was one of the first New York City taxi drivers to receive a Green Taxi permit in 2013. She is the spokesperson for Green Taxis of New York, a nonprofit organization that was created to educate and support green car owners and permit holders. She also hosts a radio program for taxi drivers on Super Leona 94.3 FM. Her goal is to own three green cards and continue to represent her industry as it grows.

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BCNA CLIENTS MAKE EXOTIC MEALS

Chef Raj Perera has worked in many international hotels but his greatest pride and joy has been to start this family operated restaurant, Banana Leaf, which serves exotic dishes like Lampris - a meal of cashews, eggplant, seafood, and plantains, baked in banana leaves!

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BCNA CLIENTS CREATE MARKETS

Kathy Malone is the creator of an on-line site called Brooklyn Indie Market. Her site, which provides a platform for Brooklyn artisans and designers to sell their unique products, was selected by our Techquity Award Program, which is made possible through funding from Ebay. Kathy, who is also the creator of a line of handmade apparel called Fofolle, now serves on our Advisory Committee.

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BCNA CLIENTS BUILD COMMUNITY RESOURCES

Friends Ismaila and Mohamed shared a dream to start a small business. That dream came true when they opened Noor Halal African American Market in the South Bronx in 2011. Located in a "food desert" neighborhood with few places to purchase fresh and healthy foods, the market sells fresh produce and African specialties, as well as freshly butchered halal meat. Ismaila and Mohamed have used BCNA microloans to purchase equipment, increase inventory, and stock up on special products during holiday seasons. They have also worked hard to make the market an attractive and friendly...

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BCNA CLIENTS HELP OTHERS

Cindy came to New York from Haiti in 2010 to build a new life in the United States. She was referred to BCNA through the Refugee and Immigrant Fund (RIF), and is a graduate of their Urban Fellow Program which trains participants in urban farming. After successfully saving $2,000, she received a matching grant to enroll in Home Health Aide classes and purchase a laptop. Cindy is currently attending LaGuardia Community College where she is studying to take the NCLEX-RNH Examination to become a licensed nurse.

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BCNA HELPS CLIENTS CREATE ASSETS

When Yelena first came to BCNA, she had just started Smiles R' Us, a day care center. Several loans from BCNA over a ten year period - and a lot of hard work and dedication from Yelena and her partner - have enabled her to successfully expand to a second location as well as purchase the building in which her first business is located. Her entrepreneurship has created 35 jobs to date.

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BCNA CLIENTS PURSUE THEIR EDUCATIONAL GOALS

Aissata came to New York from Mali in 2010 to seek humanitarian asylum. Aissata had been an IT network administrator for a renowned humanitarian organization in Mali, overseeing operations for the capital and three regional offices, but needed a college degree to resume her career in the United States. In 2010 she enrolled in Fordham University. She completed BCNA's IDA program with $2,000 in savings and received a matching grant that she used toward school expenses, including a new computer and textbooks.

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BCNA CLIENTS PREVENT BAD HAIR DAYS

Natalia Gotesman has over twenty years of experience in helping her clients look their best. However it was only recently that she was able to complete her dream by opening her own beauty salon in her neighborhood in Brooklyn. Now she can use her expertise to provide the quality services she feels that the women in her community deserve. BCNA staff helped Natalia with marketing advice and a small business loan for equipment.

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BCNA CLIENTS INCREASE THEIR INCOME

A loan from BCNA enabled Valentina and German to pay off their high-interest credit card debt and provided much needed cash flow for their growing child care business. Valentina and German then used their IDA savings and matching funds to invest in new furniture and toys. Since working with BCNA, their income has increased by 40%.

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BCNA CLIENTS GET DEGREES

Wyllys came to New York from the Dominican Republic in 2012 and was granted humanitarian asylum. After arriving in New York, he wanted to seize every opportunity to further his education. He enrolled at Hostos Community College in 2014 and received a degree in Liberal Arts. To pay for his education, he worked part-time at a Latin American restaurant in the Bronx and participated in a federal work-study program. Within six months of enrolling in BCNA's IDA program, Wyllys was able to save $2,000 and received a matching grant that he used to purchase a laptop and accessories that he used for...

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BCNA CLIENTS BELIEVE IN THE AMERICAN DREAM

Abdoulaye Ndiaye is a refugee from Mauritania who believes in the American Dream. He used his savings and matching funds from BCNA's IDA Program to start a small retail business. Then Abdoulaye, who is constantly thinking of different ways to grow his business, used a loan from BCNA to move to a better and larger location.

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BCNA CLIENTS ARE EDUCATORS

Safida came to New York in 2010 from the Hunza Valley in northern Pakistan and began attending workshops at BCNA while she applied for asylum. Although she already earned a BA and MA in Education from her home country and had been the first female school principal in her town in Pakistan, she knew she needed to become re-certified to be able to work as an educator in the United States. Safida found that not having a laptop was delaying her re-certification, so she enrolled in BCNA's IDA program to save $2,000 and received a matching grant to purchase a new laptop and pay for other costs while...

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BCNA CLIENTS REACH NEW GOALS

Issouf came to New York from Burkina Faso and is the first person in his family to attend college. He enrolled in BCNA's IDA program to save $2,000 and received a matching grant for a laptop and other costs to help him achieve his educational goals. Having access to this essential technology enabled Issouf to earn an accounting degree from The Borough of Manhattan Community College and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting with a minor in Economics from Baruch college. He now works full time as an accountant while he studies for his CPA exam and the LSAT.

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BCNA CLIENTS HELP NEW YORKERS GET AROUND!

Ibrahim Ba, a refugee from Mauritania, was shocked to discover that his credit report listed over $30,000 in debts that were not his. BCNA's staff helped him report and correct the error then enrolled him in our IDA Program. He completed a course in Basics of Money and Assets and then used $8,000 from savings and match funds to invest in a car for his business.

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BCNA CLIENTS CREATE JOBS

Patricia came to New York from Trinidad in 1989. She is the founder and president of Brooklyn-based T&T Express Shipping, a moving company with locations in New York and Florida, that specializes in shipping to the Caribbean. Having worked in the shipping field in her home country, Patricia was able to use her existing knowledge to expand her businesses here. She has expanded her company to include shipping within the continental United States and has grown her staff to 10 employees. She plans to open additional offices, increase sales and reach, and develop new markets.

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BCNA CLIENTS START HEALTHY BUSINESSES

Since coming to the US, Kin Chun Tam has worked at several restaurants and grocery stores, saving to startv a vegetable stand in Chinatown: Tam's Vegetables. She was selected for one of our Woman & Co Boost Award cash grants - funded by Citi Bank - using it to purchase a new scale and all-weather signage. She has expanded to a second cart and also supplies restaurants with fresh vegetables.

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BCNA CLIENTS ARE ARTISANS

Freddy Borghes creates unique works of art in the form of installations, murals, and sculptures. BCNA's eCommerce workshops, as well as a grant from our Ebay Foundation-funded Techquity Award Program, enabled Freddy to operate his business in a much more cost effective manner.

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BCNA CLIENTS GET DEGREES

Samal Nur came to the US in 2009 as a refugee from Kazakhstan. With a B.A. in Human Resources Management, she continued her education, studying English as a second language at a community college, while working part-time.  With the help of matching funds from BCNA's IDA Savings program, she paid for tuition at Aveda Beauty Institute. She is currently working at a prestigious salon and saving to open her own salon.

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What We Offer

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Microloans

Small business loans and microloans to help you get started with a new business, expand an existing business, or re-finance. And ask about our new Quick-Action Short-Term Working Capital Loans.

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Home Ownership

Assistance getting a down payment and information about how to buy your first home or apartment.

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Savings Accounts for Refugees (IDA Program)

Savings grants that match each dollar you save with a dollar in grant money.

Latest News

Building Visibility for Himalayan Restaurants in Jackson Heights

This summer Jeff Gorlick - organizer of last year's very successful Momo Crawl  and this year's upcoming November 5th Momo Crawl - and Tshering Gurung of BCNA's Jackson Heights office met with several Tibetan and Nepali restaurant owners about how to improve their online presence to make it easier for potential customers to find their restaurants online and to share their experiences through social media.

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Celebrating NYC's Pushcart Heroes at the Vendy's

The Vendys - aka "the Oscars of street food" - is an event the BCNA team looks forward to each year, not just for the delicious food, exciting competition, and beautiful day on Governor's Island, but also because it gives us a chance to see how lives change when hardworking entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to succeed.

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