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WIBO and RESTORE NYC Partner to Equip Trafficking Survivors with Tools to Launch New Businesses and New Lives
Restore NYC and the Workshop in Business Opportunities (WIBO) are excited to announce a new partnership that equips survivors of trafficking to start and grow a profitable business through WIBO’s 10-week online workshop. Business ownership helps neutralize one of the traffickers’ greatest weapons, financial vulnerability, which has greatly increased for individuals with a history of trafficking as a result of COVID-19.
Restore NYC has pioneered innovative housing and economic empowerment solutions for survivors of trafficking since 2009. Restore NYC’s entrepreneurial spirit, paired with a commitment to trauma-informed, survivor-centered, and culturally competent care has made Restore NYC a leader in the rapidly evolving anti-trafficking field. For all services, Restore NYC is committed to inter-agency and cross-sector collaboration and rigorous outcome evaluation. According to its data, 78% of women served at Restore have indicated an interest in starting a business.
WIBO enables small business owners from underserved communities to obtain financial success by building businesses that develop economic power, provide jobs, and improve communities. Since its first flagship “How to Build a Growing Profitable Business” workshop in 1996, WIBO has graduated more than 18,000 entrepreneurs, 75% of whom launched their businesses within a year of completing the course. Furthermore, 42% of businesses saw an increase in revenue after participating in WIBO. Some graduates have been running their businesses for more than 25 years, a testament to the long-term value of WIBO.
WIBO’s 10-week online workshop has been designed to parallel its in-person 16-week workshop. Led by a group of volunteer business owners, participants learn practical business concepts and apply them to their business ventures while seeking peer feedback. Instead of sitting in a classroom, survivors gain a solid foundation to launch their ventures from the comfort of their homes.
This collaboration between WIBO and Restore NYC follows a successful entrepreneurship training and year-long mentoring service Restore NYC piloted in partnership with NYU Bronfman called Entrepreneurship Lab (ELab). The 12-month ELab pilot culminated in July 2020 with a virtual pitch night where survivors shared progress on their ventures for an opportunity to receive investment donations and pro-bono assistance. Beyond the virtual pitch night, WIBO’s online workshop will further enhance ELab graduates’ ability to launch their businesses in the next year, while providing more survivors with the support they need to achieve their dreams of entrepreneurship.
If you are interested in contributing to or getting involved in Restore NYC’s entrepreneurship initiatives, please contact Sandra Diaz at firstname.lastname@example.org.