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SSIC social entrepreneurship program receives funding from CNY Community Foundation

October 17, 2011

Jaime Winne Alvarez
(315) 443-3834

The South Side Innovation Center’s (SSIC) Women of Faith in Business, a unique one-year-old program that works with female social entrepreneurs in the Syracuse area, has received funding from the Central New York Community Foundation. SSIC director Bob Herz announced the funding Friday, Oct. 14. The SSIC is the region’s premier, community-based business incubator and a project of the Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship in the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University.

wofWomen business owners who enter the Women of Faith in Business program invest their time, treasure and talent into their businesses, and, importantly, into rebuilding their community. The program offers participants a supportive group of women taking the first steps toward starting a business. In the workshop, participants learn the tools of social entrepreneurship and how to get their business off the ground; participate in open discussions with peers, business counselors and potential mentors; gain inspiration from successful women in business; develop their 30-second sales speech with a business coach; and obtain a certificate of program completion. Since its founding, the program has attracted the attention of the U.S. Small Business Administration and the White House.

“There is no other program like Women of Faith in Business in our area,” says Herz. “We ran this as a pilot program last year and it attracted 56 women in the community, many of whom we reached through the pastoral network. They are energized and excited. They learn business skills and are investing their money and time back into their communities while doing so. We are grateful to the Central New York Community Foundation for recognizing the unique importance of this program.”

Nasha Barnes, Women of Faith in Business program manager, says the program’s eight hours of classroom and training sessions, along with direct one-on-one counseling, helps bring women together through networking, studying, engaging in intense dialogue and exchanging skills and expertise. The final session consists of a taping for an advertising video for the entrepreneurs’ marketing use.

“This program is designed for women to learn how to take their businesses to the next level,” says Barnes. “Women of Faith in Business requires dedication to attending the sessions and producing the final product—the advertising video. The enormous commitment of our participants in exploring their fears, having open communication and their willingness to share in a supportive environment is what makes this program, and these women, so remarkable.”

The next Women of Faith in Business program begins on Tuesday, Oct. 25, from 6-8 p.m. at the SSIC, 2610 South Salina St., across the parking lot from Dunk & Bright. There is a one-time fee of $35 to attend all four sessions, which covers food and refreshments.

The Women of Faith in Business session is open to the first 15 people who register. For more information, or to sign up, contact Crystal Ross at the SSIC at (315) 443-8466.

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