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New training program aims to connect minority business developers with the training, resources, expertise and networks needed to increase their influence and leadership in New York’s real estate industry, particularly the housing industry affordable.
The LISC NYC Developers of Color Training Program launched in early November by the economic development association LISC NYC with the goal of growing and strengthening New York’s minority-owned development companies, helping them expand their portfolio of businesses and contracts. The program was developed in coordination with Columbia University.
“It’s such a challenge to be a minority developer in New York City, and a program like this, personally for me, is impressive,” said Randall Powell, CEO of Infinite Horizons, who is a participating developer at program. “It’s a breath of fresh air, to be honest, because not much is happening in terms of supporting minority developers.”
The launch of the program follows the findings of a recent report by Controller Scott Stringer who investigated opportunities for entrepreneurs in minority and women owned businesses. The report showed that only 3.8% of the $ 30.4 billion in total contracts awarded by New York City in fiscal year 2021 were awarded to minority and women-owned businesses.
The program is guided by a curriculum developed by Columbia University and extensive market research conducted by RF Wilkins Consultants. The training includes four instructional modules led by professors from Columbia, as well as workshops, one-on-one coaching by established developers in the industry, real-time assistance for transactions in the project pipeline, network support and access to equity.
“The LISC Developer Training Program came at the right time as we are in a phase of real organizational growth, and it really gives us an opportunity to take it to the next level,” said Powell. Adding: “We needed help; we needed a helping hand rather than a helping hand, and that helping hand is really going to put us in a position to improve the organization and give us the comprehensive information we need to position ourselves for the future.
Twelve minority business developers began their first day of training on November 12. The participants were selected through a competition from a group of companies carrying out the majority of their activities in the five boroughs and whose majority participation is made up of people of color. The selected companies had to have at least five years of experience in real estate development with at least one active project in progress. Within a year, the program will strive to support a total of 36 minority business developers.
Powell said this was a good opportunity to network with other minority developers and improve his skills, especially in the areas of affordable housing and real estate development, construction and construction. property management.
As the city’s pipeline of affordable housing projects expands and more market opportunities arise, LISC NYC hopes this new initiative will increase the capacity of developers of minority-owned businesses and help them compete for more market share in the industry, said Valerie White, executive director of LISC NYC, who developed the program.
By providing developers of minority businesses with access to capital and know-how to successfully compete for contracts, LISC NYC aims to help close the racial wealth gap and impact the communities these developers serve. with a focus on entrepreneurship, workforce development and rebuilding communities with a stronger infrastructure to provide services and employment opportunities, White said.
“There have been these systemic inequalities and the inability of development companies owned by individuals in BIPOC to have a fair share of the opportunities, and without access to capital it is almost impossible to close this racial wealth gap that we see. in our company, so at LISC, we are always looking for opportunities to bridge that gap, ”White said.
The inaugural cohort of minority business developers participating in the LISC NYC Developers of Color training program includes 26 Malcolm X Realty LLC, AoRa Development, Bottom Line Construction & Development, LLC, Brisa Builders Development LLC, Carthage Real Estate Advisors, CB-Emmanuel Realty, LLC, Construction Modern Design Inc., Gordon International Holdings, HGI America, Inc., Infinite Horizons, LLC, Jeffrey Venture Management Corp and JGV Management Corporation.
The program will end in January 2022 with a “Shark Tank” type investor pitch conference. The second training cycle with 24 participants will be launched shortly after. An announcement of the opening of applications for the next cohort of minority business developers and the conditions of eligibility will be published on the LISC NYC website. website.