About - WE NYC

About WE NYC

Empowering women to start, operate, and grow businesses.

WE NYC (Women Entrepreneurs NYC) is an initiative based out of the New York City Department of Small Business Services that is dedicated to helping women start and grow their businesses.

When the WE NYC initiative was established, it was the first of its kind in a major American city to empower women to pursue entrepreneurship in a range of sectors, including retail trade, personal care services, and construction. WE NYC developed tailored programs and tools with women entrepreneurs through user testing and feedback to create an initiative that connects women entrepreneurs with the resources, education and community they need to thrive.

Free services are available for Women Entrepreneurs across the five boroughs and in multiple languages.

Find out why New York City has been rated the best City in the world for women entrepreneurs, get involved and join the movement!

Women sitting on stairs smiling and laughing
It takes a long time to feel comfortable with your business. I felt very lonely and isolated as a woman entrepreneur and I was afraid to ask questions. What’s so great about WE NYC is being able to ask questions in a safe space with other women entrepreneurs.

Precious L. Williams Owner, Perfect Pitches by Precious

Foundational Research

To best serve women entrepreneurs, WE NYC connected with more than 1,500 women entrepreneurs through interviews, community forums, and surveys. According to our foundational research, men own 1.5 times the number of businesses, have 3.5 times the number of employees, and generate 4.5 times the amount of revenue. We identified challenges and opportunities and discovered that despite the significant gender gap, women business owners contribute more than $50 billion dollars annually in revenue to the City!

Unlocking the Power of Women Entrepreneurs in New York City is a comprehensive research report commissioned by WE NYC and funded by Citi Community Development to uncover the most pressing challenges and opportunities facing women business owners in New York City.

To design responsive and inclusive WE NYC services that makes sense in women’s lives, the WE NYC team learned from the real experts on this issue: the women entrepreneurs working every day to start and grow their businesses. Over the course of five weeks, the WE NYC team sat down with more than 150 women business owners in neighborhoods across the five boroughs to learn more about what it takes to be a woman entrepreneur in New York City.

WE NYC's 5 Year Impact Report

WE NYC published a 5-year impact report that builds on the findings of our foundational research and analyzed the impact that WE NYC programs have had on women entrepreneurs in New York City since launch. Unlocking the Power of Women Entrepreneurs: The Influence of the WE NYC Initiative, shows promising development for the women that participated in the WE NYC programs. Women who attended at least two WE NYC programs were twice as likely to advance their businesses from pre-startup to operating, and 56% of respondents said that WE NYC helped them grow their business in the past 12 months.

In 2015, NYC had 359,000 women entrepreneurs, employing more than 190,000 people and generating $50 billion annually in sales. Five years later, the number of women-owned businesses in NYC grew to 587,000 – the most of any city in the United States – employing more than 321,000 people and generating more than $71 billion in sales.

Businesses owned by women of color are growing at an astounding rate and, in times where we have evidenced the disparities that still exist in our City, it is extraordinary to find that about 60% of the WE NYC participants were women of color, at least 30% identify as Latinx, and more than half of the initiative’s services were provided in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, which are home to approximately two-thirds of the immigrant population in New York City.

Read the press release here.


Decor Element

Services designed for women entrepreneurs at every stage of business.

Explore Services