BCNA Voices


NATALIA KONOVALOVA

NANCY REYNOSO

ANNABELLE SANTOS

ALIMATA ZABSONRE

 

BCNA clients have inspiring stories to tell, having overcome both personal and practical challenges to establish profitable and growing businesses. Some are refugees, others are immigrants; but all of BCNA's clients are new Americans sharing their journey toward the American Dream. It has been BCNA's privilege to support the following clients in this journey with small business loans, training, and advice.

Hearing about their firsthand knowledge and experiences will not only enrich discussions about resources and policies that encourage entrepreneurship, but also provide inspiring positive role models for communities and organizations. Contact us to learn more about having a BCNA speaker at your meeting or event.

Special thanks to the New York Women's Foundation for supporting this project.

Contact us at voices@nybcna.org for booking information.

Learn more about our BCNA Voices speakers:

NATALIA KONOVALOVA is the owner of Le'Bulga Inc., a luxury handbag company. She tells an impressive story of building a successful business from the ground up in the highly competitive fashion industry. After immigrating to the United States in 1995 from Uzbekistan, she graduated from FIT with a degree in Fashion Design. She then worked for various high-end fashion brands, which led to her passion for handbag design.

Le'Bulga handbags have been worn by celebrities and fashion insiders, and have been featured in fashion magazines alongside luxury brands including Burberry and Chanel.

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NANCY REYNOSO, the daughter of Argentinean and Colombian immigrants, is a dynamic speaker and impassioned advocate for New York City green taxi drivers and women entrepreneurs.

The first New York City taxi driver to receive a green taxi permit in 2013 with medallion number AA001, Nancy is highly regarded as a groundbreaker and valued leader in her industry. Former Mayor Bloomberg has ridden in her taxi and she has driven over 15,000 miles taking New Yorkers to their destinations.

Her goal is to continue to represent her industry through community organizing and speaking engagements with city agencies including the Taxi and Limousine Commission. As a bilingual New Yorker fluent in English and Spanish, Nancy is also pursuing a second career in translation services.

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ANNABELLE SANTOS, the daughter of Filipino immigrants and the owner of SPAdét, tells an inspiring story about leveraging entrepreneurship to solve real-world problems.

Using her background in biochemistry, Annabelle began experimenting with natural personal care products in 2008 to heal her daughter's eczema. Once she perfected a formula that worked for her daughter, she founded SPAdét, which is best known for its O'Live Castile Soap – a pure, safe, and environmentally friendly liquid cleanser for sensitive skin.

SPAdét has now secured large contracts with educational institutions, medical facilities, child learning centers, and specialty pharmacies.

Annabelle is also a client of Women's Enterprise Action Loan Fund (WEALF), an innovative mentoring and loan fund program.

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ALIMATA ZABSONRE, owner of Alima Hair Braiding in Brooklyn, is a compelling speaker who tells her moving story about making the best of challenging circumstances – and uplifting other women along the way. A refugee from Burkina Faso who arrived in New York with her husband and children in 2012, she opened two hair braiding salons after putting herself through school.

Alimata's salons employ eight other women from her community. She is also the founder and president of the Association of African Women, a nonprofit networking group for African women entrepreneurs.

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