Introducing BCNA Voices

March 23, 2017

by Yanki Tshering

We are very excited to introduce a brand new initiative: BCNA Voices, an exciting roster of engaging speakers: women entrepreneurs who can share their stories to inspire members of their own communities or to help influence policies that promote entrepreneurship.


We are particularly pleased to be announcing this new initiative during Womens' History Month, in acknowledgment of the huge, and often unsung contributions that women – and particularly immigrant women - have made to the vibrant fabric of New York's economy.

BCNA Voices speakers include:

  • Natalia Konovalova, founder of Le'Bulga Inc., a luxury handbag company, who built a successful business from the ground up in the highly competitive fashion industry.
  • Nancy Reynoso, one of the first New York City taxi drivers to receive a green taxi permit in 2013, and a passionate spokesperson for the industry.
  • Annabelle Santos, who began experimenting with natural personal care products in 2008 to heal her daughter's eczema.  The company she founded, SPAdét, now has contracts with educational institutions, medical facilities, child learning centers, and specialty pharmacies.
  • Alimata  Zabsonre, founder of Alima Hair Braiding in Brooklyn, who opened two hair braiding salons after putting herself through school, and now employs eight women from her community.


The idea for BCNA Voices was born during Women's History Month last year, when we were honored to have Judy Messina moderate a panel discussion with some of BCNAs most enterprising female clients. Ms. Messina had been the lead reporter on Breaking Through -- a report released last yearby New York-based independent think tank Center for an Urban Future (CUF) -- that showed that, while women entrepreneurs of all ages, races, and ethnicities are having an increasingly large impact on New York City's economy and the number of female-owned firms is soaring in every borough, the city could be doing much more to harness their full potential.   

Ms. Messina will join us again on April 21st during our annual BCNA Immigrant Heritage Week Awards to moderate a panel discussion about how New York City can address some of the barriers micro-businesses face trying to take their enterprises to the next level. Panel members will include all four founding speakers of BCNA Voices.

It has been BCNA's privilege to support these clients with small business loans, training, and advice and we look forward to their continued success!

A special thanks, too, to the New York Women's Foundation for supporting the creation of BCNA Voices.

Please contact us about BCNA Voices at for booking information and let us know if you would like one of the speakers to address your event or group.


Tags: #WomensHistoryMonth, entrepreneurship, Immigrant Heritage Week, Immigrants, women