teal background with semi opaque gold starburt. "entrepreneur development" in white with the ESD logo in white

Small Business Week Spotlight: Entrepreneur Development

ESD’s Entrepreneur Development team supports individuals interested in starting a business or that recently started small businesses to establish and grow their business.  For more than three decades, we’ve worked with partners to assist new and aspiring entrepreneurs in developing basic business management skills by providing business training, one-on-one counseling, and technical assistance and support services. Through thousands of hours of counseling, we’ve helped New Yorkers start and expand thousands of businesses in communities across the state. We also assist small businesses seeking to sell their products to or contract with New York State.  Finally, we help entrepreneurs and small businesses to access the wide-array of New York State programs and services through our Small Business Liaison – contact us at [email protected] to find out how we can help. 

Key programs supporting entrepreneurs and new small businesses include:  

  • Entrepreneurship Assistance Centers (EAC) Program - Provides business training, one-on-one counseling and technical assistance in multiple languages through 2 4 strategically located centers across New York.  

  • Procurement Assistance – Assists small businesses and minority- and women-owned businesses in identifying contracting opportunities with state government and navigating the New York State Contract Reporter.  

  • Small Business Liaison – Provides one-on-one assistance to entrepreneurs and small business owners in resolving issues affecting their business operation. To reach ESD’s small business liaison, contact: (212) 803-3149 or [email protected]

You can learn more about ESD’s Entrepreneur Development programs and all small business programs on our Small Business website.

Success Stories:

EAC: Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation (SBIDC)  
Entrepreneur:  Alexander Campaz
Business:  Infinite Wave, Inc.

Infinite Wave Inc., a Latino-owned garment manufacturing business led by Alexander Campaz, is located in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Campaz pivoted the business to produce essential PPE gowns, securing procurement contracts and collaborating with other factories in New York City.  

Campaz contacted ESD's Entrepreneurship Assistance Center at the South Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation and participated in the EAC's Plan for Growth program, a 60-hour training supported by Empire State Development. This program equipped him with essential business skills, enhancing his understanding of digital marketing, e-commerce, and navigating bureaucratic processes. The training provided by ESD enabled Campaz to collaborate effectively with governmental bodies and other stakeholders, also empowering him to take his business to the next level—realizing his desire to preserve the manufacturing legacy of the garment industry, while balancing technological advancements, and fostering inclusivity and shared success in order to ensure the industry’s thriving future. 

EAC: Washington Heights & Inwood Development Corporation (WHIDC) 
Entrepreneur: Maria Flores 
Business: Maria Flores Daycare  

Maria Flores, the owner of Maria Flores Daycare in New York City’s Washington Heights neighborhood, is an entrepreneur dedicated to providing high-quality childcare services while nurturing the growth and development of the children under her care. Flores' entrepreneurial journey is rooted in her passion for teaching and her ability to connect with children, drawing inspiration from her experience as a mother and helping care for her nieces and nephews. 

Flores faced numerous challenges in building her business, but her determination never wavered. In 2017, a friend encouraged her to take a CPR course, enabling her to obtain a license to open her daycare center. However, starting with just $500, she needed more support and information to turn her dream into reality. This need led Flores to engage with ESD and work with the EAC, Washington Heights and Inwood Development Corporation, where she found the essential resources and assistance to kick-start her business. WHIDC provided commercial lease assistance, access to capital, business workshops, and helped her secure financial packages through the New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant program, ensuring the survival of her business during challenging times. Through WHIDC, Flores gained invaluable skills in marketing, financial management and entrepreneurship, transforming her initial investment into a thriving business with better infrastructure and enhanced services. 

EAC: Suffolk County Community College (SCCC) 
Entrepreneur: Stephanie MacIntosh & Alex Tovar 
Business: NTC Language Services 

NTC Language Services, founded in Suffolk County, Long Island in 2018 by Stephanie MacIntosh and Alex Tovar, provides high-quality language services in more than 50 languages, focusing on bridging the gap between diverse communities and the educational system. The company's founders, with their backgrounds in education, were driven to establish the company after recognizing the urgent need for multilingual emotional support and social-emotional outlets within the community. 

MacIntosh and Tovar turned to ESD's Entrepreneurship Assistance Center at Suffolk Community College for guidance and support. The EAC facilitated their certification as a Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) in New York State, opening doors to government contracts and funding, and enabling NTC to weather the challenges of the pandemic. Through the EAC, they connected with a supportive community of fellow entrepreneurs, attended training sessions, and honed their business skills to transform the lives of English-Language Learners through innovative educational programs, community outreach, and reimagining the educational process.