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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 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 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 TURN THEIR DREAMS INTO REALITY

Muhammad came to the U.S. in 2014 from Afghanistan, and in 2016 he began driving a yellow cab as well as enrolling in college classes to obtain a degree. He applied to BCNA's IDA program for refugees, which provides matching grants for savings, and qualified for a grant to help pay his tuition.  Muhammad is currently driving a cab 60 hours per week while a full time student at Queensborough Community College. The grant from BCNA was critical in helping ensure a bright future for Muhammad, and he has been spreading the word about BCNA's programs in the Afghan community.

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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 CREATE JOBS FOR NEW YORKERS

Sharmila Sherchan came to New York from Nepal in 2003, to join her husband Nabin, who had had immigrated five years earlier. In 2008 she and her husband opened Mustang Thakali Kitchen, serving authentic Nepali food from the Mustang region. With Sharmila's excellent culinary skills and Nabin managing the day-to-day business, the restaurant not only survived, but now has ten local employees. BCNA is pleased to have provided loans, as well as digital marketing and website development, to spread the words about this family owned business, which is now a vibrant and important part of the community.

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BCNA CLIENTS CONTINUE TO GROW

Sunita Adhikari came to the United States from Nepal in 2007, and owns Shuvashree Inc./Sapphire Nails & Spa, which offers a suite of luxury spa services. Initially working in other salons to support her family, Sunita's business background and years of salon experience motivated her to start her own enterprise, and in 2012 she opened her first salon and spa on the Upper East Side. Sunita approached BCNA in 2014 to purchase new equipment and refinance a high-interest loan, and has since opened a second salon in Midtown. Her two spas have created more than 20 jobs for New Yorkers.

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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 ARE SERIAL ENTREPRENEURS

Ahmed Mbaye came to the United States in 2003 as a refugee and supported himself by working in the food delivery business and offering freelance tax preparation services. In 2009, with the help of a microloan from BCNA, he launched his own import business, FoodAfrik. Through BCNA's IDA Matched Savings program he was able to invest in inventory to grow the business. In 2015 he began driving for Uber, and now has a growing transportation business, Mbaye Transportation Services, with a fleet of 5 vehicles.  He and his sons are already planning their next step; transitioning into the...

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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 CREATE BETTER PRODUCTS

Yevgeniy Mordkovich came to the United States in 1998 from Lithuania, where he had developed and sold several technology and marketing-based companies.  In 2011, wanting to spend more time cycling with his wife, he designed an electric bicycle that enabled her to keep up with him on longer rides. With funding from BCNA, he and his brother Boris put their technology, transportation, and startup experience together to create EVELO, bringing a stylish, robust, and affordable line of electric bicycles to market.  EVELO is now well-established, making cycling accessible and enjoyable for...

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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 CLIENTS GROW AND PROSPER

Astou Diaw came to the United States as a refugee from Mauritania in 2011. Her goal was to start her own business, and she was able to save enough money to open Astou Hair Braiding, specializing in traditional and modern African hair braiding, hand-made clothing, and bridal makeup.  A year later, Astou approached BCNA to enroll in the IDA savings program, attend workshops, receive one-on-one coaching, and obtain financing for her business. She has since rented her own space, and has plans to hire two women from her community, increasing her sales and reach as well as providing job...

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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 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 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 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 NEVER GIVE UP

Virginie Atake fled to the United States in 2011 from Togo. Within months, she had her own store: ECWM, selling African groceries and general merchandise in the Bronx. Unfortunately, in 2014 an electrical fire destroyed it all. Luckily she was able to quickly secure a $3000 loan through BCNA's Microloan Program for Refugees funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), which helped her transition ECWM to a home-based wholesale business. A second microloan from BCNA allowed her to rebuild her inventory. And, by saving $4,000 through BCNA's IDA savings-match program, she received a...

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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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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 INNOVATE

Juan Quelal was a systems engineer in Ecuador, came to the United States in 2009, and now drives a green taxi in New York.  He created and developed SmartCab, an app used by taxi drivers throughout the US, as well as in Spain, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, and the Dominican Republic. Juan also created and developed CabIt, a similar app that independent car services can use and customize for their clients. BCNA assisted Juan in paying off debt, and is now helping create social media marketing strategies. His dream is to start a research and development fund for technology innovators in the...

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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 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 ACHIEVE SUCCESS

Pema Omu Lama came to the United States as an international student in 2008, leaving behind the political and educational instability in her native Nepal.  She was initially enrolled at Southern Arkansas University but moved after one year to New York.  In spite of the pressures of a new country, a new language, and no family support, she later re-enrolled at LaGuardia Community College as a full-time student while working part-time as a nanny. She graduated successfully from BCNA's IDA program and not only will be completing her associate's degree in Healthcare Management this...

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BCNA CLIENTS HELP OTHERS

Olawale Obayemi came to the United States in 2014 as a political refugee from Nigeria, after his activism on behalf of several oppressed groups resulted in threats of arrest and imprisonment. After resettling in New York and working odd jobs for several months, Olawale started his own delivery, laundry, and home cleaning business. The IRC referred him to BCNA, where he enrolled in the IDA savings program and applied for a microloan. With funding from BCNA, he launched his business in 2015, with a goal to open a laundromat business. Olawale continues to fight for equal rights and social...

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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 REACH THEIR GOALS

Nabina Khanal came to the United States in 2009 as a refugee from Nepal, where she had been a medical student and social activist doing volunteer work in hospitals and orphanages.  Nabina initially put herself through community college and completed her first Associate's degree in Oklahoma, then she moved to New York, where she enrolled in BCNA's IDA program to help pay for further schooling. With these funds, she was able to purchase a computer and enroll in nursing classes at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC). When she graduated, she will have achieved her dream of becoming...

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BCNA CLIENTS ARE FOCUSED

Behzad Pouyanfar came to the United States in 2014 as a LGBT refugee from Iran. He originally resettled in Oregon, where he worked in quality control and production at a Microsoft factory, and developed an interest in computers and mathematics. Once he moved to New York, Behzad enrolled in the undergraduate Finance program at Brooklyn College, where he will graduate in 2019.  Currently working as an office assistant at a wholesale menswear business, his goal is to work as a Financial Analyst.  He says the financial help from BCNA was integral in making his dream to study Finance a...

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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. Apply Now

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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.

Events

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7th Annual Immigrant Heritage Week Awards

This was our 7th year recognizing outstanding immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs and we were honored to have Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services, presenting the awards.  Click here to see more!

Latest News

Growing Human Capital Equals More Success

There are many ways we measure success at BCNA. The first and most important metric is the number of New Yorkers we've successfully helped as they've started – or built - a business, bought a home, built credit, or saved for college. But another important way we measure success is by our human capital: how we've grown as an organization and added capacity and expertise through growing our staff.

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New York Does the Right Thing

We wholeheartedly applaud Mayor DeBlasio, Speaker Cory Johnson, and members of the New York City Council who heard the pain and frustration of the members of  the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) and other New York drivers. The bill that New York City Council passed last week, and that Mayor de Blasio has promised to support, will not only put a cap on ride-hail service vehicles, such as Lyft and Uber, but will also set a pay standard for their disastrously underpaid drivers.

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