(NYT) Blacks Are Challenged to Buy From Black-Owned Businesses to Close Gap

Attend  The African Union Expo 2015. Expo  will take place at MIST Harlem, 46 W 116th St, New York, NY 10026,  between Fifth and Lenox Avenues on 11/17/2015 from 11am – 7pm.CONTACT: please register at https://africanunionexpo.org/events/african-union-expo-2015-nyc-harlem/

or email info@africanunionexpo.com or phone 646-502-9778 Ext. 8001 to the attend or to request further  information

CHICAGO — Should black people go out of their way to patronize black-owned business?
Maggie Anderson says they should. In 2008, with the economy in the middle of the worst downturn since the 1930s, Ms. Anderson enlisted her husband and two daughters in a yearlong plan to consume goods and services exclusively from black-owned businesses. The journey became a basis for her 2012 book, “Our Black Year,” the subject of several TED talks about how to increase wealth in the African-American community, and the narrative behind a current cross-country tour aimed at spreading her gospel.

“There’s a lot that we can do if we make small sacrifices,” Eugene Mitchell said. Credit Joshua Lott for The New York Times

Blacks spend less money in black-owned businesses than other racial and ethnic groups spend in businesses owned by members of their groups, including Hispanics and Asians. A report by Nielsen and Essence estimates that black buying power will reach $1.3 trillion in the next few years, yet only a tiny fraction of that money is spent at black-owned businesses. Unless black people devote more attention to building wealth within the black community, Ms. Anderson and others contend, they will always be behind.

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Health Services Profile: We are pleased African Services Committee (ASC) to the African Union Expo 2016

We are pleased to announce the support of the African Services Committee  (ASC) for the African Union Expo 2016.


ASC, we be providing Health, awareness and testing services during the expo.

Visit AfricanUnionExpo.org for more information for Merchants and general Attendees or email  info@africanunionexpo.com or phone 646-502-9778 Ext. 8002

African Services Committee is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and self-sufficiency of the African community. We provide health, housing, legal, educational, and social services to over 10,000 newcomers each year in New York City with a focus on HIV prevention, care and support. We also work on the frontlines of the global AIDS epidemic; operating five clinics in Ethiopia and through advocacy and policy work in the U.S. and abroad.


Learn more at www.africanservices.org


CUNY Citizenship Now! New York State Office for New Americans at CUNYXPRESS

We are pleased to announce that the CUNY Citizenship Now! team will be supporting the African Union Expo 2015  to be held at Mist Harlem on 11/17/2015 from 11am – 7pm. Please register at  https://africanunionexpo.org/events/african-union-expo-2015-nyc-harlem/  or email info@africanunionexpo.com or phone 646-502-9778 Ext. 8001 to the attend or to request further  information

the CUNY Citizenship Now! teamand will have an Exhibitor table at the Expo to provide assistance and information for all the various immigrant services programs with a linkage towards secondary education in the CUNY system to all attendees.  

CUNY Citizenship Now! is the largest university-based legal assistance program in the nation. We provide free, high quality, and confidential citizenship and immigration law services to all New Yorkers. Under the leadership of Professor Allan Wernick, CUNY Citizenship Now’s attorneys and paralegals assist more than 10,000 individuals each year at our centers and more than 2,000 at our community based events. We also coordinate community, educational, and volunteer initiatives to help expand opportunities for New York City’s immigrant population. We serve the community in many languages, including Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Polish, French, Haitian Creole and Italian.


CUNY Citizenship Now! provides free, high quality, and confidential immigration law services to help individuals and families on their path to U.S. citizenship. Our attorneys and paralegals offer one-on-one consultations to assess participants’ eligibility for legal benefits and assist them in applying when qualified. We also coordinate community, educational, and volunteer initiatives to help expand opportunities for New York City’s immigrant population.

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Sample Business Plans and links for more information for contestants for the InnovateHER Competition to be held on 11/17/2015

please see below and attachments for more information for business plans

To all contestants, attached is a sample business plans and links to more information for business plans.

Again, you would need to submit your business plan by 11/15/2015 if you have not already done so. You could also bring copies of your business plan on the day of the event. If to purse this option please bring at least 8 copies of your business plan for the Judges.



Templates in Microsoft Office for Business plans: https://templates.office.com/en-ca/Business

Link to the SBA https://www.sba.gov/writing-business-plan

sample business plan template

SBA 1010C

Carl E. Heastie, New York State Assembly Speaker

Carl E. Heastie is the first African American to serve as Speaker of the New York State Assembly, elected by his Assembly colleagues on February 3, 2015.speaker Heastie

In his first budget as Speaker, he worked closely with members of the Assembly Majority to develop a financial plan that made an historic $1.8 billion investment in the education of our students, addressed the homelessness crisis facing our communities and gave working families the resources they need to achieve financial independence. Speaker Heastie is committed to fighting for the reforms and investments that will strengthen our families and uplift all New Yorkers.

Speaker Heastie represents the 83rd A.D. in the northeast Bronx and was first elected to the Assembly in 2000. As a member of the Assembly, he has been one of the leading advocates for the construction of new schools and his vigilance has led to the development of several new schools in his district. In addition, he has secured significant funding for housing, education, after school programming, health and human services, jobs readiness and computer training for constituents.

Amongst his many legislative achievements, Speaker Heastie was a principal negotiator in securing an increase in the minimum wage that took effect January 1, 2014. He was also successful in negotiating increases in unemployment insurance benefits, which had been stagnant since 1998. He was the prime sponsor of the Wage Theft Prevention Act which provided stiffer penalties for employers that steal wages from employees.

Speaker Heastie scored a victory for public health when he championed the passage of a law that prohibited the sale of water containing nicotine to children under 18 years old. He also authored a law to help victims of domestic violence by releasing them from lease obligations if it is found that remaining in the residence would keep the victim in a dangerous environment.

Prior to joining the Assembly, Speaker Heastie served as a budget analyst in the New York City Comptroller’s office where he researched, prepared and authored reports on the City’s spending patterns. He earned a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in Finance from Bernard M. Baruch College (CUNY) and a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics and Statistics from Stony Brook University (SUNY).

Welcome letter from Speaker Carl Heastie for the 2015 African Union Expo (PDF)

Van Freeman, Senior Advisor to the National Director – U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency

Van FreemanVan Freeman, Senior Advisor to the National Director

U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency

Currently, Van serves as the Senior Advisor to the National Director at Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), where he assists senior management with Agency operation; handles access to capital, access to markets, and innovation through the 44 business centers across the country; as well as facilitatingthe Agency’s strategic partnerships and spearheading Congressional and local government outreach.President Obama appointed Van Freemanto serve as a Deputy Director in the Office of the Secretary at U.S. Department of Commerce in 2013, before transitioning in to his new role withthe MBDA.

Van began his career at General Motors (GM) as a Manufacturing Engineer, eventuallymoving up to Production Supervisor at GM’s parts distribution center in Pontiac, MI.  Leveraging his business and analytical background, Van landed a position UBS Investment Bank in London, UK, as a Business Analyst in the Office of the Global General Counsel.  After time well spent in London, he joined the President Obama’s Campaign staff in Cleveland, OH, for the 2008 and 2012 election cycles, which was a critical launching point for his path into the Administration.

Van holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Morehouse College and Juris Doctorate from Southern University Law Center.  He currently resides in Washington, DC.

We welcome the support of the Empire State Development Corporation for the 2nd annual African Union Expo 2016

ibrahima-souareWe welcome the support of the New York State Empire State Development  Corporation again to the Expo this year.

Visit AfricanUnionExpo.org for more information for Merchants and general Attendees or email  info@africanunionexpo.com or phone 646-502-9778 Ext. 8002

Mr. Ibrahima S. Souare will be delivering the session titled: “Doing Business with New York State.

Ibrahima S. Souare is a native of the Francophone Republic of Guinea-Conakry. He immigrated to the United States at the age of seven with his family. Mr. Souare has spent majority of his upbringing in New York City, and speaks three languages in addition to English, which are, French, Manike, and Susu. Mr. Souare is a graduate of the City University of New York Lehman College, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science.

Economic development has become a passion for Mr. Souare–and he has and continues to develop his expertise in the areas of enterprise launch planning, market expansion, and capacity building. Mr. Souare is also an instructor with New York City Department of Small Business Services where he holds seminar classes on business planning and business marketing strategies.

Currently, he is a Senior Business Development Associate with the New York State agency, Empire State Development under its Division of Minority and Women Business Development.     

Mr. Souare, outside of work, is the Director of Student Outreach for The Council of Young African Leaders. He is also a member of Sigma Phi Rho Fraternity Inc. where holds the position of National Public Relations Officer.

Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of New York

cuomoAndrew M. Cuomo, re-elected the 56th Governor of New York State on November 4, 2014, has a lifelong commitment to public service and the proven leadership skills to make government work for the people of the state.

Prior to his election as Governor, Andrew Cuomo served four years as New York’s Attorney General. As the state’s top legal officer, he made restoring public trust in government and protecting New York taxpayers the top priorities of his administration.

As Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo brought national reform to the student loan industry, uncovered fraud within the largest health insurers in the country, protected investors from abuses on Wall Street, and made the Internet safer for children nationwide. His groundbreaking investigations into the state pension system ended decades of government corruption in New York and set a model for public pension funds across the country. In addition, Cuomo established Housing Enterprise for Less Privileged (HELP) in 1986, which became the nation’s largest private provider of transitional housing for the homeless. Based on his pioneering work through HELP, Cuomo was appointed by New York City Mayor David Dinkins in 1991 to lead the New York City Commission on the Homeless.

In 1997, Cuomo was appointed by President Clinton to serve as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Under his leadership, HUD was transformed from a bureaucratic backwater rife with waste, fraud, and abuse to a revitalized engine for economic development and unprecedented housing opportunities. Cuomo brought dramatic reforms to make government efficient and competent while saving taxpayers millions of dollars.

As secretary, Cuomo made fighting racial discrimination a key focus and brought 2,000 anti-discrimination cases all across the country.

Andrew Cuomo’s work earned HUD the prestigious “Innovations in American Government Award” from the Ford Foundation and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University on three different occasions.

Cuomo first practiced law as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan. He has also worked as a partner in a New York City law firm and was of counsel at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson.

Cuomo graduated from Fordham University in 1979 and Albany Law School in 1982.

Together we are building on our success, working to restore economic opportunity; replace dysfunction with results; put people before politics; and reestablish New York as the progressive leader of the nation.

— Governor Andrew M. Cuomo


Christian Damiba, Director, NYC Business Solutions Upper Manhattan Center

christian-damibaMr. Christian Damiba directs the day-to-day operations of the two New York City-Business Solution Centers (Upper Manhattan and Washington Heights) managed by Harlem Commonwealth Council Always offering an approachable management style with his enthusiasm, he makes constructive critique an art and crafting a cohesive team climate a science.  Consequently, he methodically sets goals and supports his team to meet or exceed their designated targets and produce impact.


Building upon over 15 years of  experience in several key strategic business areas ( Finance, Consulting, Education), he continuously demonstrates an acute skill for expanding a market, growing revenue, and supporting best practices.   His experience includes but is not limited to: business development activities; engaging, managing, and sustaining strong customer and partner relationships; consulting; mentoring and guiding effective teams; precisely mapping and coordinating diverse internal and external company budgets and resources;  while also assessing and mitigating business risks.  As such, the NYC-Business Solutions centers managed by Harlem Commonwealth Council, Inc. greatly benefit from his training and experiences as a certified Project Management Professional (PMP); he is also  a Green Belt Certified in the Six Sigma technique of quality management and improvement.

Mr. Damiba completed a Bachelor of Business Administration at Pace University and holds an MBA from Adelphi University.


Working out of both locations, he travels regularly between the NYC-BSC locations on 181st Street in Washington Heights and 125th Street at HCC headquarters.

Africian Union Expo 11-7-2015 general attendee

African Union Expo 2015 Flyer for expo @ Mist Harlem on 11/17/2015 from 11am – 7pm

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