November 29, 2012

Special Art Exhibition Sponsored by UNDERLINE Gallery

Artworks by: Cat Chow, Liz Collins and Margaret Evangeline Baselitz

And smaller artworks, artist books, jewelry, prints, ceramics, and other objects by a select group of the Gallery’s female artists who are dedicated to sustainable practices and approaches to artmaking will be available for sale at the booth outside the exhibition space.

UNDERLINE Gallery is a visual arts gallery that underscores important, innovative works by some of today’s most talented artists. The Gallery’s unique perspective–often marked by color, dimension, humor, and spirit–reflects an intimate and non-exclusive environment that facilitates art appreciation. A variety of price points and a range of small and large-scale works bring together a community of artists, curators, art lovers, and collectors.

UNDERLINE creates compelling and memorable experiences for visitors through a lineup of curatorial themes that are both provocative and contemporary. The artwork juxtaposes classic concepts and innovative techniques, just as the gallery similarly intends to revolutionize traditional standards of art exhibition. The venue extends in scope to platform and forum, offering a sense of community, showroom and conversation.

In addition to the main gallery, Underline’s shop offers affordable pieces by its rotating roster of artists, such as hand-crafted objects, limited-edition prints, and one-of-a-kind artist books, for a variety of art lovers.

November 28, 2012

Special Panel Discussion - Nov 30 at 6:30 pm Entrepreneurship for Empowerment: How Women Are Using Business To Lift Up Themselves & Their Communities




A panel discussion exploring the role of entrepreneurship and economic opportunity as a tool for female empowerment, at home and in the developing world. The panel will be preceded by a screening of the “Economic Empowerment” chapter of Half The Sky, featuring the story of the Umoja Women’s Village in Kenya, at 5:45pm. Beverages and light snacks will be provided by Equal Exchange.


Brenda Avery, Public Relations Director, Mercado Global. Brenda is Public Relations Director of Mercado Global, a fair trade organization that empowers female artisans in Latin America by connecting them to mainstream sales opportunities in the U.S. Mercado Global’s sales and business support for women’s artisan cooperatives lift families in rural indigenous communities out of poverty and invest in local women’s leadership. Brenda brings over ten years of branding and communications experience working in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, having most recently worked for TOD’S, Dolce & Gabbana and Cartier. Prior to her work in luxury goods, Brenda served on several bi-partisan political campaigns as well as in the executive office of California Governor Gray Davis. Brenda is completing an M.S. in Strategic Communications from Columbia University and holds a B.A. in International Relations and Political Science from the University of California, San Diego. She also holds a Certificate in Fashion Studies from Parsons the New School for Design.

Cheryl Campbell, Managing Director, EILEEN FISHER Community Foundation. Cheryl Campbell is the Managing Director of the Eileen Fisher Community Foundation and a connecting partner of the Eileen Fisher Social Consciousness team. In the fall of 2009 she launched GREEN EILEEN, a recycled clothing initiative, which has raised over $1.35 million dollars and sold more than 40,000 garments. Proceeds support non-profit programs for women and girls. Cheryl facilitates the annual Eileen Fisher Business Grant program for Women Entrepreneurs. The annual grants awards $12,500 to five 100% women owned businesses that excel in the areas of innovation and sustainability.

Erica Dorn, Community Development and Loan Operations Manager, Accion USA. As a leader in U.S. microfinance, Accion empowers low-to-moderate income business owners through access to capital and financial education. With economic opportunity, these entrepreneurs—often minorities and women—can build assets, better provide for their families, create employment and strengthen their communities.

Isela Hernandez, President and Founder, HERNÁN. Originally from the U.S.-Mexico border, Isela was raised in the best of both worlds allowing her to explore the opportunities of the U.S. while remaining closely connected to Mexico’s rich culture. After 8 years as a merchant in the fashion industry in New York and Los Angeles, Isela became active in community development and worked at the Synergos Institute – an international NGO with a mission to eradicate poverty and inequity in the developing world and along the U.S.-Mexico border. Inspired by this experience, Isela was determined to use her experience as a merchant to start a business that would promote Mexican culture. HERNÁN is a brand of Mexican premium gourmet products which includes a line of Mexican kitchenware and Mexican hot chocolate. All HERNÁN products are designed and made in Mexico by local artisans and producers, many of whom are expanding beyond their local origins for the first time. Isela is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Terri McCullough, Executive Director, Tory Burch Foundation. Terri is the Executive Director of the Tory Burch Foundation and guides its strategy. Terri was previously Chief of Staff and advisor to Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives. She served in a variety of roles for more than 15 years in Rep. Pelosi’s Capitol Hill and San Francisco offices, with a focus on issues affecting women and families. Her experience also includes positions at NARAL Pro-Choice America, PENCIL (Public Education Needs Civic Involvement in Learning) and actress/playwright Anna Deavere Smith’s Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at New York University. Terri serves on the Board of the Girls Leadership Institute. She is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Lyn Pentecost, Executive Director, The Lower Eastside Girls Club. Lyn Pentecost, PhD, is an anthropologist and Executive Director of The Lower Eastside Girls Club of New York, a place where girls and young women 8-23 can grow, learn, have fun, and develop confidence in themselves and their ability to make a difference in the world. All Girls Club programs develop environmental, entrepreneurial and ethical leadership in the girls they serve. The Girls Club owns and operates four successful social ventures: a Farmers Market, a Fair Trade Gift Shop, a Community Café and The Sweet Things Bake Shop – which makes the best cupcakes in NYC!

Moderated by: 

Kari Litzmann, Founder of and President of New York Women Social Entrepreneurs. Kari has spent eight years working as a designer and branding consultant in New York with the purpose of strengthening the voice of women around the world. Her clients have included microfinance organizations like Women’s World Banking and women’s academic institutions like Barnard College. She received her Masters from the Pratt Design Management program in 2005, during which she conducted thesis research on how Design Management is relevant in economically-impoverished communities, and where she discovered the power of design to make positive change in the world. She currently serves as the Chapter Leader of New York Women Social Entrepreneurs, a network of more than 1800 women involved in the social enterprise and CSR space in New York. She worked with Kala Raksha, a groundbreaking NGO that empowers artisans through design in Kutch India, and returned to India at the beginning of 2012 to spend five months building partnerships with design companies and women artisans for the launch of


November 27, 2012

Craft Room Sponsored by BurdaStyle, Manufacture New York and Textile Arts Center: Nov 30 & Dec 1


NOV 30

12pm, 1pm, 3pm, 4pm – Fabric Notecard Workshop with BurdaStyle
Free (register here)

12:30pm, 1:30pm, 3:30pm, 4:30pm - Fabric Button Workshop with BurdaStyle
Free (register here)

BurdaStyle is a DIY fashion and sewing community. Our aim is to bring the craft of sewing to a new generation of fashion designers, hobbyists, DIY’ers, and inspire fashion enthusiasts. We offer downloadable PDF sewing patterns, project ideas, tutorials and a community passionate about fashion.


2pm, 5pm – Paper Bag Printmaking with Manufacture New York
Free (register here)

Think that patternmaking is something you have to spend hundreds of hours (and dollars) learning in school? Well, that’s mostly true, but in this class you will learn the quick and dirty method of paper bag patternmaking. Save all your Trader Joe’s & Whole Foods bags, and use them to knock off your favorite garments! Along the way, you will also learn the basics of patternmaking and have a better idea of how your clothes are made. Bring one simple favorite: a T-shirt, vest, simple pair of leggings, or dress that you love. By the end of class, we will have created a flat pattern of all of the pieces of that garment, so you can just go home and cut/sew it in any fabric variation!  This technique can be a real time + money saver if you’re on a budget, and the best thing part is you won’t have to spend a boatload on materials. Prerequisite: Basic Sewing Skills or above.

Manufacture New York is a fashion incubator/factory hybrid dedicated to providing independent designers with the resources & skills to streamline their production process & transform local manufacturing into the most affordable, innovative option for all.



12pm - Shibori Tie Dye Tote Bag Workshop with Natural Dyes 
$10 including materials and either a tote bag or handkerchief
(register here)

1pm - Dry Felted Holiday Decoration Workshop 
$10 including materials
(register here)

2pm – Shibori Tie Dye Tote Bag Workshop with Natural Dyes 
$10 including materials and either a tote bag or handkerchief
(register here)

3pm – Dry Felted Holiday Decoration Workshop
$10 including materials
(register here)

The main goal of the Textile Arts Center is to provide support to fiber artists, designers, and everyday people interested in working with fiber, by acting as a resource facility and creative meeting place. Since its founding in mid-2009, the Textile Arts Center offers multiple ways in which the public can participate in the textile arts. Through classes, workshops, exhibitions, and special events, the Textile Arts Center aims to preserve ancient handcrafts and techniques, while enabling paritcipants to fit such processes into contemporary life.

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November 26, 2012

GIVE GOOD Market: Film Screening & Musical Entertainment



Half the Sky: Economic Empowerment in Kenya

An excerpt from “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” on the Umoja Women’s Village in Kenya, a community of domestic violence survivors that supports itself through sales of beaded jewelry.


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The Microlending Film Project w/ Special Presentation & Seeds Demo

Exclusive excerpts from The Microlending Film Project, preceded by a special presentation on microlending, technology, and women’s empowerment by director/producer Rachel Cook. The Microlending Film Project seeks to show a balanced, comprehensive picture of microfinance through the lens of the personal stories of the women it impacts. The issue of transparency and its paramount importance to the industry is a key focus, as is showcasing best-practices and suggesting how microfinance can most effectively be used as one development tool in a larger box, both domestically and abroad, specifically in terms of the opportunities mobile banking and crowdsourcing promise. Rachel will also provide special demonstrations of Seeds: a revolutionary new social game that facilitates direct mobile-to-mobile microlending from the developed to the developing world.


The Story Exchange

Selected clips from The Story Exchange, a global video project empowering women to achieve economic independence through entrepreneurship. We know the importance of role models and that’s what The Story Exchange is all about: it’s women inspiring women. By producing and promoting video profiles of successful entrepreneurs from all walks of life and sectors we encourage others to gain economic freedom, create the lifestyle of their choosing, and uncover their full potential.

The Story of Stuff Project

Selected clips from The Story of Stuff Project, a movement from storyteller Annie Leonard to bring about awareness of issues related to consumption.

Vendor Videos
A selection of promotional videos and mini-documentaries from the vendors taking part in the GIVE GOOD Market.

Roshni Music

Roshni is a solar-powered contemplative, love-soaked, multi-faceted music movement dedicated to creating peaceful vibrations, both inner and outer, for every living being on the planet. They blend sounds from East & West in a meditational, transformative, women-centered and yoga-appropriate mantra music. They call themselves ‘devotional folk’ music. Roshni are: James Dean (guitar & vocals), Alexandra Weaverling (vocals) and Paul Harris (flute).

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November 19, 2012

You're Invited to NYWSE's GIVE GOOD Holiday Market!


Announcing NYWSE's first annual holiday market supporting some of the women-owned sustainable businesses in our network! We are so excited to host this event featuring more than 25 female vendors selling gift products that are making a difference in our world. The market will also include programming such as film screenings of women filmmakers, an art exhibition of women artists sponsored by Underline Gallery, DIY workshops sponsored by BurdaStyle and Textile Arts Center, and a panel discussion with reps from ethical fashion rockstars and women champions such as Mercado Global, Lower East Side Girls Club, Eileen Fisher, and Accion USA.

More info and the schedule of events can be found on our website: 

WHERE: Starrett Lehigh Building, 601 West 26th Street at 11th Avenue 

WHEN: Friday, November 30 – Saturday, December 1; 11am – 8pm 

PARTICIPATING DESIGNERS: Mercado Global, Shannon South Handbags, KORA, and Study NY to name a few... 

PROGRAMMING PARTNERS: Half the Sky, BurdaStyle, Textile Arts Center, Eileen Fisher, Accion USA, The Story of Stuff, The Story Exchange, and Lower East Side Girls Club.

We are happy to co-sponsor this market with Centre for Social Innovation (whose enormous popup space is where the market will be held) and Rubina who shares our vision of supporting women-owned businesses, among several other like-minded organizations. You can learn more about them here: 

October 23, 2012

Women for Women Series featuring Nicole Stubbs from First Access

Join us as we kick off a brand new series for NYWSE members to help each other reach their goals!


Date: Thursday, November 8, 2012 
Time: 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. (EST)
Location: Jump Associates, 915 Broadway


For our first event in this series, NYWSE will be featuring member Nicole Stubbs and her social enterprise, First Access. Nicole will present the First Access business model and accomplishments, and then outline a challenge she's currently going through as a woman entrepreneur in her first year in business. NYWSE members and attendees, with the help of our facilitator Elyse Marr from Jump Associates and Kellee Joost from Pipeline Fellowship, will brainstorm to help Nicole push past this challenge.

The evening is designed to be a practical and solutions-based exercise for the speaker, but will also serve as inspiration, idea-sharing, and a connection to resources for all participants.

Come ready to voice honest opinions, hear strategic issues, tackle challenges, and create solutions!

Read more about partners and the event below.

NYWSE team



CEO and Co-founder of First Access

Focused on supporting entrepreneurship in emerging markets, Nicole has experience in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe.

Prior to First Access, Nicole worked with the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) to create a policy and advocacy strategy, and conducted an extensive survey on talent and compensation practices among impact investors and capacity development providers in emerging markets. She also helped design and launch MicroWorld, a Paris-based social enterprise that offers P2P and CSR microlending opportunities in Senegal, Cambodia, Peru, Lebanon and Tajikistan. She has contributed strategic research on private equity and venture capital trends in emerging markets to Endeavor Global in NYC, on Chinese microfinance policy to PlaNet Finance China, and on the expansion of pilot community healthcare programs in Tibet to Surmang Foundation, which has provided free healthcare to over 150,000 Tibetans.

Nicole holds a Master of Public Administration degree in development economics and social enterprise from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She also has a self-designed degree in Writing about Culture from Kenyon College, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, and with Highest Honors. She has also studied at Tsinghua University in Beijing and the School for International Training in Fortaleza, Brazil. She speaks French, Portuguese, Spanish and Mandarin, and is working, too slowly, on basic competence in Swahili, Wolof and Malagasy.

Connect with First Access:


Twitter: @1stAccess


OUR HOST: Jump Associates

Elyse Marr, Design Strategist

Elyse Marr is a design strategist at Jump Associates helping companies create new businesses and reinvent existing ones. Made up of hybrid thinkers – people thinking at the intersection of design, culture, and business - Jump provides Fortune 500 companies new growth strategies to navigate highly ambiguous questions. Prior to Jump, Elyse was product design lead at Embrace Innovations, creating disruptive technology for the Indian healthcare system. In this role, she was responsible for translating ethnographic needs research into actionable insights to inform the development of low-cost infant incubators for mothers and healthcare workers in rural villages. Elyse also has experience launching new ventures in the Silicon Valley, mapping systems for adoption strategies and theory of change, designing products for social impact, and services for behavior change. Her projects have included quantitative-self wearable devices, surgical simulators for medical training, and a new type of product category called “calming technology.” Elyse received her B.S in Product Design from Stanford’s School of Engineering. Outside of work, she continues to be an art activist creating public spaces for memorialization and community building, as well as a mentor helping social entrepreneurs conduct research in the emerging market and structure their design cultures to drive innovation.

Jump is a growth strategy firm, whose approach integrates design, business, and social science. We help Fortune 500 companies assess their existing strengths, reframe their competitive landscape, define new products and services, and transform their most compelling ideas into actionable business plans ready for implementation.

Connect with Jump Associates:


Twitter: @JumpAssociates @ElyseMarr


INVESTOR PERSPECTIVE: Pipeline Angels (Pipeline Fellowship's alumnae network)

Kellee Joost, 2012 NYC Pipeline Fellowship Graduate

Kellee Joost has a background as an entrepreneur, fundraiser, marketer, and public policy professional. Most recently she was co-founder and managing director of Integrative Pet Care, an animal rehabilitation center in Chicago, taking the entity from conception to capitalization to realization and its sale. Now residing in New York with her husband, she is an operations consultant for Hope Sings, serves on the Season of Cambodia planning team, and is an avid international traveler. Kellee holds a BA in Communications Arts and Sciences from The Pennsylvania State University.

The Pipeline Fellowship is an angel investing bootcamp for women philanthropists. Fellows commit to invest in a woman-led for-profit social venture in exchange for equity and a board seat. Pipeline Angels is Pipeline Fellowship's alumnae network.

Connect with Pipeline Fellowship:


Twitter: @PipelineFellows


NYWSE: Introducing the Women for Women Series

Women for Women is a new NYWSE Series where changemaking women in the community come together to make ideas happen. Made up of more than 1800 women, NYWSE members have the unique opportunity to access the resources needed within our own community to accomplish goals. The purpose of this series is to create a venue that connects our members to those resources and fosters authentic, long-lasting supportive relationships to build a more solutions-based community.

At each event in this series, one woman within the NYWSE community will pitch her organization or project, present a challenge she's going through, and invite NYWSE members to brainstorm solutions as a community. Participants benefit from learning about different models for change from a fellow NYWSE member and connect to causes they're passionate about.

NYWSE has partnered with Jump Associates, an innovation and growth strategy consulting firm, to facilitate the interactive discussion around the issues our speakers bring up, as well as a strategic collaboration with the PipelineFellowship's alumnae network, Pipeline Angels, to bring an investor's perspective to the conversation.

Connect with NYWSE:


Twitter: @NYWSE

October 16, 2012

"Asia Society" Featuring Claire Chiang, Senior VP at Banyan Tree Holdings




Monday, October 22 • 6:30PM - 8PM

Please join Dinda Elliott, Global Affairs Editor at Condé Nast Traveler, for a conversation with social activist, entrepreneur and author Claire Chiang on corporate social entrepreneurship in Asia.

Claire Chiang is Senior Vice President of Banyan Tree Holdings, and a Co-Founder of Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts, a leading developer and manager of premium resorts, urban hotels and destination spas around the world. She pioneered the group's retail business in 1996 and has since overseen the launch of more than 80 retail outlets worldwide. Chiang is also the chairperson of Banyan Tree Global Foundation, which was established in early 2009 by Banyan Tree Holdings. Chosen as Singapore's Woman of the Year in 1999 for her numerous contributions to a more civil and pluralistic society, Chiang has also served as a nominated Member of Parliament and was one of the first women to be admitted to the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry, breaking the tradition of an all-male chamber.

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September 28, 2012

You're Invited! "How She Does It" Dinner Series - Featuring Caitlin Kelley, Founder of Africa Volunteer Corps


Date: Monday, October 15, 2012 
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. (EST)
Location: 121 Fulton Street


NYWSE invites you to attend the "How She Does It" dinner featuring Caitlin Kelley, Founder of Africa Volunteer Corps. Come join us for an evening with Caitlin as she shares about her unique journey living in Tanzania for several years and how she was able to inspire change within the Tanzanian community. She will touch upon issues common to anyone starting an unprecedented project in a foreign country, such as learning how to partner with locals, gain trust, and assimilate to different cultures.


About Caitlin Kelley

Caitlin Kelley’s mission is to help people live their greatest potential and to shift the paradigm of how the West interacts with Africa. After studying African history at Northwestern University, the path to facilitate justice and self-determination wherever possible took her to Tanzania where she learned Swahili and worked at a grassroots NGO. While there, she saw the world of local NGO’s from the inside out and met many passionate, educated locals hungry to find lasting ways to make a positive impact in their country. In 2009 she and partner Jafari Msaki founded Africa Volunteer Corps, a service corps for Africans to work in African-initiated development projects.


Event Host

121 Fulton Street, FiDi’s first gastropub, is a multifunctional, multi-room venue comprised of a full scale restaurant, bar and lounge and event space located at 121 Fulton Street between Nassau and Dutch Street. Featuring a modern and sleek design, 121 Fulton’s décor emphasizes a natural balance between sophistication and the cool, comfortable vibe of downtown. Allowing for various entertainment options with an emphasis on food and optimal service, the space is complete with a dual-sided restaurant complete with two separate dining areas, three separate entrances, a full bar area in front as well as a multitude of seating options for guests. Our savory and unique 60 item dining menu touches upon everything from brunch, lunch, dinner and even delivery. In addition, we have a full in-house catering, corporate menu which offers 30 different platters, 40 hot and cold passed hors d’oeuvres and 14 different buffet options to choose from as well as being able to create a menu tailored to your event needs.

Additional Info

Please note that some items on the menu may contain ingredients that could trigger food allergies, such as nuts and gluten. Let us know prior to the event if you have allergies and we will inform the kitchen. Also, all sales are final and refunds will not be issued. Thanks for your understanding.




September 17, 2012

Introducing Nicole Stubbs, Founder and CEO of First Access


We are pleased to announce Nicole Stubbs as the first speaker for the "NYWSE Members Speaker Series" event!

                                                                          More details to follow...

ID Photo 2011

Focused on supporting entrepreneurship in emerging markets, Nicole has experience in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. She is the CEO and Co-founder of First Access, a social enterprise based in Brooklyn and piloting in Tanzania. First Access is pioneering a credit scoring system for the global informal sector, which allows microfinance institutions to evaluate loan applicants instantly based on their prepaid mobile records. Prepaid phones represent the first access that people in informal markets have had to formal, traceable financial transactions, and First Access is using these to put people 'on the grid' of financial inclusion.

Prior to First Access, Nicole worked with the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) to create a policy and advocacy strategy, and conducted an extensive survey on talent and compensation practices among impact investors and capacity development providers in emerging markets. She also helped design and launch MicroWorld, a Paris-based social enterprise that offers P2P and CSR microlending opportunities in Senegal, Cambodia, Peru, Lebanon and Tajikistan. She has contributed strategic research on private equity and venture capital trends in emerging markets to Endeavor Global in NYC, on Chinese microfinance policy to PlaNet Finance China, and on the expansion of pilot community healthcare programs in Tibet to Surmang Foundation, which has provided free healthcare to over 150,000 Tibetans.

Nicole holds a Master of Public Administration degree in development economics and social enterprise from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She also has a self-designed degree in Writing about Culture from Kenyon College, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, and with Highest Honors. She has also studied at Tsinghua University in Beijing and the School for International Training in Fortaleza, Brazil. She speaks French, Portuguese, Spanish and Mandarin, and is working, too slowly, on basic competence in Swahili.

August 16, 2012

Call for Submissions: NYWSE Members Speaker Series

NYWSE is comprised of some of the most inspiring women, both those doing amazing things and those with the biggest of ideas. Our goal is to bring this powerful group of women together, to inspire each other and facilitate connections that will allow for shared support and mentorship, sharing of ideas and the building of new teams.

Over the next year, we will be launching a new, ongoing event to highlight some member stories. Each event will feature a panel comprised of a selection of NYWSE member initiatives, so that we can learn from and be inspired by those in our midst.

If you have a story or initiative you think would be a good fit, please let us know! Complete the form at by August 31, 2012 if you’d like to be considered to speak at one of the upcoming events. We will announce the panelists by September 15. The first panel is planned for late October or November 2012.

We look forward to hearing from you!

March 23, 2012

You're Invited! "How She Does It" Dinner Series Featuring Susan McPherson, Senior VP at Fenton

Register online:

Monday, April 2, 2012
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. (ET)
Location: Crepes du Nord, 17 South William Street


Join us for this evening of dining and conversation as Susan discusses with us Fenton and how you can incorporate social good and compassion in your career and every day lives. Our interconnected lives and worlds make supporting causes with authenticity not only possible but contagious. Come engage as Susan shares her tips and tactics for success in the growing world of "shared value." 


About Susan McPherson

Susan McPherson is senior vice president/director of global marketing at Fenton, the nation’s leading public interest communications firm. McPherson focuses on creating visibility for the firm and its clients on a global scale while also continuing to help further grow the corporate responsibility practice.  She’s a regular writer and contributor for publications such as the Harvard Business Review, Triple Pundit, Forbes and Environmental Leader on sustainability and global development issues and routinely speaks at industry conferences. She has more than 20 years experience in marketing, public relations, CSR communications and business development. Prior to joining Fenton, McPherson was vice president, CSR services at PR Newswire. 

McPherson holds a B.A in history from the State University of New York at Albany and conducted graduate studies at Boston University’s College of Communications with a focus on broadcast journalism. She serves on the board of Bpeace, an organization dedicated to assisting women in regions of conflict and post-conflict start businesses. She also is a member of Echoing Green’s Social Investment Council, Social Media Week’s New York Advisory Council and the New York Leadership team for 85Broads. Additionally, she serves as an adviser to the non-profits: Plant A Fish (a new nonprofit created by Fabien Cousteau), She’s The FirstThe Adventure Project and The OpEd Project. Recently, McPherson was selected as a Vital Voices global corporate ambassador and is a strategic advisor to the new start-up, Positive Luxury.


Event Host

Smorgas Chef Restaurants serves fresh Scandinavian food based on centuries of Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish culinary traditions. The first location was established on historic Stone Street in the Financial District as a modest sandwich shop, which grew into a full-service restaurant and bar. As its popularity grew in the city, Smorgas Chef added 2 more locations, one in the West Village, and one on Park Avenue in the Scandinavia House Cultural Center. Most recently, Smorgas Chef opened its fourth restaurant - Crepes Du Nord, a French-Scandinavian Creperie on South William Street in the Financial District. Scandinavian cooking, with its focus on fresh unprocessed ingredients, vibrant herbs and delicate flavors, is gaining more attention around the world. Unique ingredients from Scandinavia such as cloudberries, herring, and lingonberries are regularly featured on Smorgas Chef’s seasonally driven menu.

Additional Info

Please note that some items on the menu may contain ingredients that could trigger food allergies, such as nuts and gluten. Let us know prior to the event if you have allergies and we will inform the kitchen. Also, all sales are final and refunds will not be issued. Thanks for your understanding.

March 06, 2012

An Evening in Honor of Leymah Gbowee

The Metro NY Chapter of the US National Committee for UN Women invites you to an evening with Leymah Gbowee Photo2011 Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee, a Liberian peace activist, trained social worker and women’s rights advocate.  She is Founder and President of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, head of the Liberia Reconciliation Initiative and Co-Founder and Executive Director of Women Peace and Security Network Africa. She is also the Newsweek Daily Beast's Africa columnist and the mother of six.

Date and Time: Tuesday, March 13 from 6-8 pm (ET)

Location: Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park

For more information or to RSVP:

General Admission: $115. Includes reception with Ms. Gbowee and a copy of her new book, Mighty Be Our Powers

Patron Admission: $300. Includes reception with Ms. Gbowee and a copy of her book, Mighty Be our Powers.  Patrons will be listed in our program. The first 30 patrons will received a signed copy of the book.

Special Pre-Event Screening of Pray the Devil Back to Hell. 5:00 to 6:15 PM: All attendees are invited to a special pre-event screening of Pray the Devil Back to Hell, the award-winning documentary about Ms. Gbowee’s leadership of the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace – which brought together Christian and Muslim women in a non-violent movement that played a pivotal role in ending Liberia’s civil war in 2003. Pray the Devil Back to Hell is a co-production of Fork Films and THIRTEEN.

February 21, 2012

Spring into Action with NYWSE

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 from 6:15 PM to 8:30 PM (ET)

Join NWYSE for a special networking event to jump start your year. NYWSE is celebrating rapid growth and a community of 1000+. Tapping into this vast group of women, host Taryn Miller-Stevens of will guide you through three activities to formulate your goals, traverse obstacles, and create new opportunities.

Speed Game-Changing
Goal Circle
Think Tank Accelerator

Beverages provided and please remember to bring business cards. If there is a particular social enterprise topic that you would like to see added to the discussion, please email NYWSE at [email protected] with a reference to this event.

Register at:


                                                                                                                                                                            In Good Company Workplaces provides women business owners with both a professional space to call their own and a strong peer network built through authentic, in-person connections and interactions. Our beautiful loft-like space is not only affordable but also available through several flexible membership plans (helpful for accommodating various and changing work/life needs). Members can use it as a place to work, a place to meet clients, and a place to hold classes and workshops.
Our community also benefits from opportunities to connect with other like minded women business owners (for collaboration, advice, expertise) as well as access to educational events and resources. Our events aim to facilitate not only the in-person connection, but also the exchange of sound and strategic business advice as well as tactical solutions.

January 11, 2012

As One Chapter Closes Another Opens

by Cynthia Hellen, Co-Founder of GIRLS WHO ROCK

On behalf of the New York Women Social Entrepreneurs (NYWSE) team, we would like to welcome you back to what we know will be a year of impact! As some may know, NYWSE hosts various events, panels, discussions and our "How she does it" Dinner Series throughout the year. Last month, we had the honor of featuring guest speaker Adelaide Lancaster, co-author of The Big Enough Company: Creating a business that works for you and co-founder of In Good Company in NYC.

Looking forward, we have an exciting lineup of events for 2012. Our very first event will be our “How She Does It” dinner on February 13th. We will announce our first featured guest in the next coming weeks so stayed tuned!
We will also continue to highlight and celebrate the stories of extraordinary women in social enterprise on this blog. But, what does "social enterprise" mean to you? What comes to mind when you hear the words "woman social entrepreneur"? Who would you like to spend an evening with and share your thought-provoking ideas and/or discuss about sustainability or entrepreneurship?                                                                                                                                 
We want to know your thoughts and are taking submissions! Email us at: [email protected].
We look forward to seeing all of you at our upcoming events!

November 10, 2011

How to Generate Revenue: Funding Your Social Enterprise or Nonprofit

by Hannah Jang, Chief Blogger

It takes more than just a great business idea to make a new company successful. Whether you're running a nonprofit organization or building your own start-up company, you will need to develop a solid financing strategy with the near future in mind. Finding seed and early stage funding may be a difficult task. Luckily, we had the opportunity to speak with Shana Dressler, Co-Founder of the Social Innovators Collective, before she wraps up for their 5-part workshop series. She shares with us the importance and challenges of finding funding sources.

With numerous funding opportunities available, how do you choose the best funding option?

Shana: It’s true that there are many channels to explore funding opportunities. The best options depend on several factors. First of all, where you’re going to look for funding for a nonprofit is different than where you’ll research opportunities for a social enterprise. [I’m defining a social enterprise as an entity with one of the following corporate structures – LLC, LC3, Benefit Corporation, not a 501(c)(3).] Then the second consideration is what stage of your business development are you– this goes for both nonprofits and social enterprises. Depending upon whether you’re a startup or at the emerging or mezzanine phase of your business development will determine where to look. The worst piece of advice that I’ve heard and continue to hear for startup/emerging nonprofits is, “Oh, you’re a nonprofit…you should apply for a grant.” Given the research we’ve done, getting money from individuals is many times more effective. Most foundations have little to no money earmarked for startup nonprofits. They are looking for proof of concept and a track record to know that you’ll be around for the long haul. They are also not interested in supporting work that replicates that which is already being done well in the space. Before you get too deep into what you are doing, research who’s getting the funding in the area you are seeking to make an impact. So why crowdfunding? Besides the fact that grants are so hard to come by these days, here’s the research: Of the $290 billion that was contributed in 2010 to ALL nonprofits nationwide, 73% came from individuals and only 14% came from grants.

For people who have founded a social enterprise, the word on the street is to go after VC funding. I often hear people say, “Hold out! Bootstrap in the beginning before you give your company away to early seed funders.” In other words, keep your day job until you can really figure out your long term financial plan.

What are some ways of increasing your chances in obtaining financing?

Shana: The short answer is: Be clear about what your mission is and know how to communicate it passionately and effectively. If you are inarticulate - whether that is in your written or spoken communications - you’ll have a very hard time getting funding. Next, your branding and visual communications need to really sing. Alastair Ong, Co-Founder and COO of GreenSoul Shoes and a member of the Social Innovators Collective, said the following in the 3rd workshop we held “Pitch Your Idea: Persuasive Communication”: “A bad idea with a great pitch will get much further than a great idea with a bad pitch. The name of the game is presentation. I can't do anything about your idea, but I can do something about your presentation.” There’s so much competition for funding (and people’s attention) that if you’re not able to interest people and, more importantly, grab their attention, forget it. Finally what has always surprised me is that people don’t fund ideas as often as they do the people who are presenting them.

How can you avoid underestimating funding requests?

Shana: Do your research! Ask questions. For nonprofits go to and find out what your competitors are getting by downloading their 990 tax returns – it’s one of the best kept secrets. Another fantastic resource is The Foundation Center. Either go to their office or visit their website and research the foundation you’re looking to apply to for funding. There’s a list of the grants they’ve made, to whom and how much they gave away. For social enterprises this is a bit trickier, but again, this is public information. We’ll be sharing this at our workshop on November 15th.

However, the reality is that even with all the research you do, it can still be hard to get funding. Milena Arciszewski, the founder of Pando Project and a member of the Social Innovators Collective, is a perfect example.

Milena recently decided to put her venture on hold because she didn't have enough funding to keep her doors open. I was so moved by her story. She is truly a woman of great courage, integrity, heart and soul. Admitting failure is so important, because failure can only lead to further innovation. But unfortunately, many nonprofits have avoided letting their funders and donors know what hasn't worked, for fear of not receiving further support. I hope more Milenas come forward and share their stories when we begin our 2012 series on Lessons Learned. It will be a continuation of the blog that Danielle Lanyard, the founder of Green Breakfast Club, and I put together for General Assembly to support our classes.

I think we're all in agreement that we want to alleviate suffering in various ways, shapes and forms whether that be locally, nationally or globally. The people I know in this space are motivated and passionate about using their talents, resources and professional skills to create a world where we can all live peacefully with dignity, love and a sense of fulfillment. But, if we don't have the funding in place to support the long-term efforts ahead of us, we eliminate the chance of succeeding in any significant way. There are so many projects that belly up because of the lack of foresight as far as funding goes. When one fails to actualize a personal project, it can be very disappointing, but it is not dire. Mistakes are great learning tools. At the Social Innovators Collective, we want to encourage you to share mistakes so we can all learn from each other. High impact work isn't easy and so the more we know what doesn't work, the more we can focus our energies on innovating until we find solutions that do. For that reason, we will be producing a conference in late 2012 on failure. If anyone wants to sign up for our brainstorming session on Wednesday, November 30th at "We Create NYC," we'd love to have you:

Can you provide us with a sneak preview of what to expect for the last workshop?

Shana: First of alI, I don’t know of any other organization in New York that’s talking about financial literacy for nonprofits and social enterprises the way we are. We’ve started to find other resources out there, but it’s taken a lot of digging. For nonprofits we see that founders are in denial that they are running businesses and this is why so many fail. We’ve spoken to people who have NO idea what a trademark is or does and why they need one. I’ve had people look at me, as if I were talking in a foreign language, when I asked if they have a business plan in place. Here’s the only thing to say about this. A business plan is ESSENTIAL. It’s a roadmap to secure an organization’s long-term success. There’s no way you are going to secure any type of major funding, whether that be from angel investors, venture capitalists, program officers from foundations or philanthropists, if you don’t have a clearly articulated business plan or something that closely mirrors one. Sure you might get lucky once or twice, but then the word gets out when you have little to nothing to show for the work you’ve done because you squandered the money. Investors and funders need to feel confident that you will spend the money you receive wisely. With your plan in hand and a polished pitch, you’ll be ready to approach investors and major donors. The money is out there. The question is, “Are you prepared to receive it?”

Bottom line: Come to our class. We will make sure that everyone leaves equipped with the information to succeed wildly!

For more information:

To purchase tickets:


About Shana Dressler:

For fifteen years Shana Dressler worked as a multimedia producer and photojournalist on projects Shana300pxspanning several disciplines and continents while consulting for nonprofit arts and media organizations. Inspired by her consultant work with the Peabody award-winning satellite TV station, Link TV, which broadcasts eye-opening documentaries about the problems facing humanity and efforts to address them, Shana sought ways to contribute to featured causes in a meaningful way.

Since February 2009, Shana has concentrated on building unique giving communities focused on raising funds and awareness around such issues as human rights, the global water crisis, youth education, women’s leadership and social entrepreneurship. Through her nonprofit organization, the Global Giving Circle, she created opportunities for people of all income levels to support hybrid grassroots social enterprise and philanthropic initiatives focused on poverty alleviation. In December 2009, Shana launched Global Gifts That Matter, an online gift emporium supporting high-impact nonprofits and social enterprises through the sale of gifts and gift donations. In February 2010, she began work on the Global Cocoa Project. Its mission is to support cocoa farmers around the globe by supplying them with not only tools to improve the quality of their cocoa production, but also basic needs for their daily lives.

Shana is also the Co-Founder of the Social Innovators Collective, a dynamic, energetic network of emerging founders, leaders and individuals who work in the social enterprise and nonprofit spaces.




November 24, 2010

Event Review: Loans for Growth

October 28, 2010— NYWSE presented Loans for Growth, a panel discussion featuring women leaders from leading domestic and international microfinance institutions. A big thank you to JPMorgan for hosting the event at their headquarters in the Financial District.

Moderated by Mia Feldman of JPMorgan Social Finance Group, our panel featured Gina Harman, President and CEO, ACCION USA; Emily Kerr, Founder and CEO, Liga Masiva; Richa Agarwal, Project Manager, BRAC USA; Jahaira Guerrero, Director of Microenterprise Development, Brooklyn Cooperative; and Katherine Rosenberg, Director of Evaluation and Education, Grameen America.

The panel kicked off as each panelist described their respective missions and approaches to microfinance. While Grameen USA serves US entrepreneurs below the poverty line, domestic counterparts ACCION USA and Brooklyn Cooperative assist established US entrepreneurs via loans of up to $50K. Within the field of international microfinance, the spectrum ranges from specialized organizations, such as Liga Massiva that provides small loans to farmers primarily in the Dominican Republic, to BRAC, a development organization that combines microfinance with economic and social development programs across Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.

Each panelist shared her organization’s success stories, whether it was a Bangladeshi woman who grew her home embroidery business into a factory with 12 employees, or the three Mexican brothers who leveraged microloans to establish their own restaurants in New York. They also addressed challenges, such as the impact of the recent financial crisis on nonpayments and loan defaults, as well as corresponding solutions.

In this era of “too-big-to-fail” financial institutions, the key take-away emphasized the power of microfinance to provide entrepreneurs with access to capital, By giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to start and grow their businesses, microfinance opens countless possibilities for sustainable community development.

For a different perspective of our event, check out this review from Mary McBride, Dean of Pratt Institute’s Design Management Program, for  insight on the relationship between microfinance and design management.

As for our visually inclined readers, scroll down to view pictures of the panel and post-event networking. Stay tuned for future event announcements on this blog-- we look forward to seeing you at our next event!

Why, hello there 


Deep in thought 

October 20, 2010

You're Invited! NYWSE Presents: Loans for Growth

NYWSE is pleased to present leaders in the microfinance industry who have provided entrepreneurs access to capital, resources to grow their enterprises, and ultimately the opportunity and strength to start a business. Each of these panelists has successfully integrated micro-lending programs within their organizations in different ways and will discuss the impact they've made in supporting women entrepreneurs globally.

Register online:

Date: Thursday, October 28, 2010

Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Location: 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza, Conference Center [Please bring your ID.]


Mia Feldman, JPMorgan Social Finance Group
Mia works in the Social Finance Group in J.P. Morgan's Investment Bank, the commercial initiative focuses on capital markets and principal investment opportunities within the microfinance and broader social enterprise sectors.  Previously, she worked in domestic microfinance at ACCION New York as both a loan consultant and a lending team leader. She is the founder and former chair of the ACCION USA Microfinance Council, an organization dedicated to promoting this not for profit to young professionals, providing strategic advice and assisting with fundraising activities with the support of the Board of Directors at ACCION. She is currently on the ACCION New York Advisory Board. She is fluent in Spanish and holds a BA in Latin American Studies from Scripps College in Claremont, California.

She is enrolled to begin a Masters in Public Affairs in the fall of 2011 at Woodrow Wilson School. In this year prior to going back to school she will continue to work in the Social Finance group in the Investment Bank at J.P. Morgan.


Gina Harman, President and CEO, ACCION USA
Gina Harman, named president and CEO of ACCION USA in May 2008, brings 35 years of extensive private sector management and public service experience to the microfinance organization.

Formerly President of Harman International’s $600 Million consumer products division, Ms. Harman managed the company’s 12 consumer brands, strategy, engineering, product development, marketing and sales worldwide. Prior to her senior post at Harman International, Mr. Harman served as Executive Director of the Astoria Local Development Corporation, in the Office of the Mayor as Youth Bureau planner for the borough of Queens, founded and served as Executive Director of the Washington Square Day Care Cooperative and as an advocate in various labor and community organizations.

Ms. Harman has been involved with microfinance for years through service on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of ACCION New York, briefly as its Chief Executive Officer and President before leading the merger with ACCION USA to form the largest microfinance portfolio in the country.  Ms. Harman received the Neighborhood Achievement Award from  Mayor Bloomberg in 2009 in recognition of ACCION’s work with women- and minority owned businesses in NYC.  She is a member of the Board of Directors of the CDFI Coalition, the Consumer Advisory Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of NY, NY State Governor Paterson’s Small Business Task Force and Capital One’s New Market Tax Credit’s Community Advisory Board.

Ms. Harman holds a bachelor's degree in Urban Planning and Policy from the State University of New York and is a graduate of the Non-Profit Management Institute at Columbia University and the Tenenbaum Institute at the Milano School – Graduate Center of the New School, both in NYC.   She resides in NYC. 

Emily Kerr, Founder and CEO, Liga Masiva

Emily Kerr is the founder of Liga Masiva. Her vision, consulting experience, and deep experience in Dominican communities in the DR and in the US create a strong foundation for the enterprise. A New York native, Emily graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Hamilton College and also studied in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Part of her study included a year-long fellowship to do advanced field study in Organic Food Initiatives in the Dominican Republic. This research was the beginning of her ongoing relationship with organic farmers in the DR. Subsequently, Emily was hired as a consultant to increase sales and usage of a wireless “food stamp” program in NYC and was able to generate a lift of 400% over the previous year’s sales. Most recently, Emily lent her business acumen and skill at building relationships to support First Manhattan Consulting Group on projects in Latin America, overhauling the collections operations of the biggest low-income mortgage provider in Mexico, among other engagements. 

Richa Agarwal, Project Manager, BRAC USA 

Richa Agarwal, a Project Manager with BRAC USA, recently merged her 12 years of experience in the New York fashion industry with her passion for microfinance.  Richa works with BRAC’s largest social enterprise Aarong in Bangladesh, employing 65,000 rural artisans. Richa currently oversees special projects that will increase Aarong’s capacity to provide employment to more Bangladeshi rural artisans. Richa was educated at Boston University, FIT and Pratt Institute. 

Jahaira Guerrero, Director of Microenterprise Development, Brooklyn Cooperative

Jahaira Guerrero is the credit union’s Director of Microenterprise Development and has been with the credit union for one year. Currently, Jahaira is responsible for the majority of high-volume business lending and all aspects of business underwriting and disbursements. In addition to maintaining a healthy loan portfolio and implementing high-quality loan originations, she is also responsible for the credit union’s participation in the SBA Express loan collateralization program, and acts as our main liaison with the SBA team. Jahaira has performed various outreach initiatives with partner organizations with an interest in business lending, such as Acción, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and NYC Business Solutions. Prior to the credit union, Jahaira worked at NYC Business Solutions as a finance account executive and as a senior loan officer at Accion USA. She holds a BA from Lehman College at the City University of New York.

Katherine Rosenberg, Director of Evaluation and Education, Grameen America

Ms. Rosenberg joined Grameen America as Director of Evaluation and Education. Most recently, Ms. Rosenberg was a research coordinator at New York Presbyterian Hospital where she was responsible for project management, patient recruitment, and evaluation activities for multiple projects. Prior to this, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal where she designed and implemented numerous health education efforts, disease prevention programs, and community development initiatives that included the establishment of a village-operated cooperative pharmacy. Ms. Rosenberg holds a B.A. degree from Union College in American Studies and an MPH from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.

Register online:


September 27, 2010

You're Invited! NYWSE "How she does it" Dinner Series Launch - Featuring Amber Chand, Co-Founder, Prosperity Candle Company

Register online:

On October 4, 6-8 P.M., New York Women Social Entrepreneurs (NYWSE) invites you to the NYWSE "How she does it" Dinner Series Launch featuring guest speaker Amber Chand, Co-Founder of Prosperity Candle Company.

Join us for a night of insightful conversation and inspiring ideas, as Amber shares her experiences as a social entrepreneur, businesswoman, and humanitarian. Our event host, Smorgas Chef Restaurants, has created a vegetarian tasting menu, highlighting a selection of French-Scandinavian crepe delicacies and wine pairings from Argentina and Italy.

About Amber Chand:
Born in East Africa of Indian parentage and expelled from her country during a time of political turmoil in her youth, Amber Chand developed a profound interest in women’s empowerment, economic security around the world, and the role of business as a transformational agent for social change and peace building. She co-founded Prosperity Candle Company, a social venture that invests in enterprising women living in distressed areas of the world who are excited to start their own businesses producing distinctive candles for local and international markets. Prosperity Candle focuses on places that are torn by conflict and social unrest, devastated by natural disaster, and trapped in never-ending poverty.

For further reading about Prosperity Candle, check out last week's interview with Siiri Morley, Partner at Prosperity Candle.

June 01, 2010

Social Media for Social Change: Virtual Technology, Real Actions

by Danielle Ravich, NYWSE Chief Blogger

April 19, 2010 - Today's Social Media for Social Change event was a testament to how modern technology, and our virtual networks can create real changes in our society. 

Panelists included Cindy Gallop of IfWeRanTheWorld, Esra'a Al Shafei of Mideast Youth, and Jerri Chou of All Day Buffet. The event was moderated by Jalak Jobanputra of New York City Investment Fund.

Continue reading "Social Media for Social Change: Virtual Technology, Real Actions" »

February 18, 2010

Creating Social Change through Media

by Lannia Small, NYWSE member & volunteer

On Thursday January 28, over 45 women and one man attended the NYWSE event “Change through Media” at Green Spaces New York. The event was moderated by Alicia Marin of ALAS and included panelists: Yvette Alberdingk Thijm of WITNESS, Karena Albers, Founder of KONTENTREAL, Katherine Fry of The LAMP, and Alexia Prichard, Founder and Executive Producer of Closed Loop Films.

All of these amazing women are change makers using media in unique ways to expose social issues and create dialogue. The night’s topics ranged from measuring the social impact of media organizations and the importance of allying with policy makers and educators, to the need to empower victims around the world to tell their own stories of social injustice. Participants were also able to brainstorm with the panelists about how to find the right target audience for their media project, as well as how to make the career transition to the social media field or create their own organizations.

Continue reading "Creating Social Change through Media " »

August 16, 2009

Incubator Friendraiser & Silent Auction

by A. Lauren Abele, NYWSE Mastermind-Mentoring Initiative (MMI) graduate

The New York Women Social Entrepreneurs (NYWSE) held their first ever Incubator Friendraiser last month. The private event was held at the Bowery Wine Company and was a fundraiser and silent auction for NYWSE's Incubator Program for budding women social entrepreneurs. The 2009 Incubator Participants were:

  •  Early Earners – Online education destination for youth and families promoting positive financial habits
  • Girl Guides USA – Outdoor program that develops girls’ environmentalism, leadership and teamwork
  • Illume – Online mentoring and career resource for young women from illiterate families in India
  • Out Against Abuse – Online resource to stop domestic violence in the South Asian community
  • Public Stuff – Software to connect government and citizens to improve services and community life
  • Start Your Engine – Exercise, nutrition, stress and time management program for low-income women 

The event featured a keynote speech by Diana Ayton-Shenker, Founder & CEO of Fast Forward Fund (FFF), a youth-investing-in-youth social venture fund, who spoke of the importance of investing in young social entrepreneurs who will become tomorrow's leaders.

The venue was a-buzz with interesting conversations and was a great opportunity to meet other faces in the world of NYC social entrepreneurship. And, in addition to the great company, the Bowery Wine Company staff was fabulous!

I had the pleasure of helping organize the event and had the opportunity to work with some really fabulous women including Natalia Oberti Noguera (NYWSE Director) and Melissa Osborne (who is off to graduate school this fall! Congrats!).

If you are a woman interested in social entrepreneurship and considering applying for next year's Friendraiser, check the NYWSE Incubator section for the 2010 Program Applications.


By day, I am an economic development program assistant at a community development nonprofit in Brooklyn. By night, I volunteer with other nonprofits helping them with fund development, strategic planning, and social media. I am one of the 2009 NYWSE Mastermind Mentorship Initiative (MMI) participants (love it!) and big-time NYWSE advocate. Find me at:

June 25, 2009

NYWSE Incubator Friendraiser - July 7, 2009

Save the Date!

NYWSE Incubator Friendraiser @ Bowery Wine Company

featured speaker, silent auction, jazz trio, open bar

July 7, 2009

7-10 P.M.

The NYWSE Incubator Friendraiser marks the successful conclusion of the NYWSE Incubator program.  Join us in celebrating the first co-hort of NYWSE Incubator participants, including the selected social entrepreneurs, their apprentices, and their mentors.

Diana Ayton-Shenker, Founder & CEO of Fast Forward Fund (FFF), a youth-investing-in-youth social venture fund, will speak on the importance of investing in young social entrepreneurs--particularly women.  The NYWSE Incubator is an FFF Pipeline Partner. 

Six budding women social entrepreneurs were selected from a competitive pool of applicants to participate in the NYWSE Incubator.  The entrepreneurs were assigned a female mentor and a female apprentice.  The teams worked for six months to realize the entrepreneurs' social ventures with the support of workshops, resources, classes, coaching, and pitch opportunities.  How did they fare?  Come find out!

2009 NYWSE Incubator Selections

  • Early Earners – Online education destination for youth and families promoting positive financial habits
  • Girl Guides USA – Outdoor program that develops girls’ environmentalism, leadership and teamwork
  • Illume – Online mentoring and career resource for young women from illiterate families in India
  • Out Against Abuse – Online resource to stop domestic violence in the South Asian community
  • Public Stuff – Software to connect government and citizens to improve services and community life
  • Start Your Engine – Exercise, nutrition, stress and time management program for low-income women

If you would like to learn more about applying to the NYWSE Incubator, make sure to meet NYWSE Incubator Founder & Manager Allison Lynch at the Friendraiser.

Interested in volunteering?  Email Melissa Osborne at: [email protected]

February 05, 2009

Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) panel held by NYWSE and Columbia University’s Multicultural Business Association

by Allison Lynch, NYWSE Incubator Manager

January 29, 2009

Diverse non-commercial capital sources for social enterprises in New York City were introduced at the SRI panel last week by panelists from the NYC Venture Philanthropy Fund, the Fast Forward Fund, Givology, Acumen Fund, and Microlumbia. SRI takes the form of grants, loans, or equity investment and is the latest wave of financing for social enterprises today. Regardless of the form, SRI is characterized by its focus on the double bottom line (financial as well as social impact) and accountability for results – not only output or services rendered, but also the impact of these products or services upon individual lives and communities – an even higher standard than commercial enterprises must meet. As traditional financial investors show an increasing acceptance of social as well as financial returns, the non-profit sector is innovating new mechanisms to invest in social enterprises with financially sustainable business models that offer payback to investors (e.g. through loans or equity investment with a limited return).

Continue reading "Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) panel held by NYWSE and Columbia University’s Multicultural Business Association" »

January 24, 2009

NYWSE Presents: The Different Faces of SRI

The Different Faces of SRI - Event Goals:

To inform about alternative business models in the world of investing.

To begin a discussion among industry players regarding best practices, lessons learned, and the sector's future.

Speakers include

Molly Alexander, Business Manager, Acumen Fund
Diana Ayton-Shenker, Founder and CEO, Fast Forward Fund
Jennifer Q. Chen, President, Givology
Danielle Noto, Microlumbia
Heather Rees, Founder, NYC Venture Philanthropy Fund

The panel will be moderated by NYWSE member Olga Serhiyevich. Olga is on the Steering Committee of the Morgan Stanley Microfinance Forum and serves on the Board of Directors of the Microfinance Club of New York.


The event will be hosted by Columbia University's Multicultural Business Association (MBA).

Snacks and refreshments will be provided.

November 16, 2008

A Message from Allison Lynch, NYWSE Incubator Program Coordinator

NYWSE Incubator Information Session:

Wednesday, November 19

6:30 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.

Columbia Business School

Uris Hall, Room 303 (not wheelchair accessible-please call if this is problematic)

Columbia University, at the intersection of Broadway and West 116th St.

(116 St subway stop on the 1 line is the closest; alternatively A/B/C/D lines stop at 125th street which is a 10+ minute walk from campus)

Make sure to RSVP to [email protected].

We look forward to seeing you at the information session!

UPDATE: New York Women Social Entrepreneurs (NYWSE) - Incubator Program

NYWSE is pleased to announce that Baruch College's Field Center for Entrepreneurship and its Small Business Development Center have agreed to partner with the NYWSE incubator as the main provider of technical business training for the women's social enterprise incubator program. Thank you to Baruch College and its Zicklin School of Business!

In addition, Columbia Business School (CBS) and its Eugene Lang Center for Entrepreneurship have also agreed to collaborate with the NYWSE incubator and opened their Global Social Venture Competition up to incubator enterprise teams which have an apprentice who is a Columbia MBA student. Thank you CBS!

Background: The NY chapter of YWSE announces its Incubator Program for women social entrepreneurs to begin in January 2009. The purpose of the incubator is to enable fledgling women social entrepreneurs to bring to life their social enterprise concepts, by providing mentoring from leading experts in the social entrepreneurship field, a peer network, and team support. Entrepreneurs will be matched with a leading female mentor, as well as a female graduate student apprentice (a "junior partner"), creating a three-person team. The program will last approximately 6 months and is open to women entrepreneurs in the NY-metro area who have a clearly defined nonprofit or for-profit social enterprise idea to which they are committed. It will include monthly workshops and weekly communication and collaboration with their NYWSE Incubator team.

October 09, 2008

NYWSE December 4 Event - Networking: Mentoring 2.0

The NYWSE December 4 event, Networking: Mentoring 2.0, promises to be a fantastic opportunity to mingle with great organizations and groups based in the NY-metro area.

Continue reading "NYWSE December 4 Event - Networking: Mentoring 2.0" »

NYWSE Nov. 7 Breakfast Series Event - Social Intrapreneurs: Corporate Change Agents

NYWSE invites you to its inaugural Breakfast Series event

Social Intrapreneurs: Corporate Change Agents

Employees working within firmly established infrastructures will discuss the ways that they have become agents of social change. Social change occurs through the efforts of those who bring their values to work, engage others inside their companies, build a movement, and create new policies, earning, in turn, the title of Social Intrapreneur.*

Speakers include:

Continue reading "NYWSE Nov. 7 Breakfast Series Event - Social Intrapreneurs: Corporate Change Agents" »

NYWSE October 23 Event: Hire-A-Mentor

Mark your calendars! On October 23, NYWSE will present Hire-A-Mentor at In Good Company Workplaces, a NYWSE Partner. The event will run from 7 P.M. until 9 P.M..

We have pulled together a fantastic panel of experts who will share their experience and answer your questions about a range of topics, with a special emphasis on how to structure and engage in a mentoring relationship.

The panel will include:

Continue reading "NYWSE October 23 Event: Hire-A-Mentor" »

June 17, 2008

July 17 NYWSE Event: From the Department of State to the department of high-impact entrepreneurs

Elmira Bayrasli will share her own story about focusing on foreign policy, her time at the State Department, living and working in Bosnia, and finally coming to the realization that if she wanted to bring about true change, it would have to be through economic development.  In discussing Endeavor’s model as an innovative way to create jobs and inspire people to be entrepreneurs, she will highlight several female entrepreneurs in Brazil, Egypt, South Africa, and Colombia.

Continue reading "July 17 NYWSE Event: From the Department of State to the department of high-impact entrepreneurs" »

May 20, 2008

June 26 NYWSE Event: Can Writers be Social Entrepreneurs? Can Social Entrepreneurs be Activists?

In October, 2000, a book Amy and Jennifer co-wrote about the state of the women's movement, called Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future , was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. That book served as the platform for a national speaking tour which brought the two to literally dozens of community groups, countless bookstores, and more than 200 universities and high schools.  Their own speaking tour, and experiences with an agent, prompted the two to found Soapbox Inc. Speakers Who Speak Out (check out the website). 

Continue reading "June 26 NYWSE Event: Can Writers be Social Entrepreneurs? Can Social Entrepreneurs be Activists?" »

DATE CHANGED to June 3! NYWSE Workshop: The Nuts & Bolts of Wealth Management For & By Women

NYWSE invites you to our first member-led workshop!  Nicole Drury, Financial Adviser at Smith Barney, will lead a workshop on wealth management geared toward women on June 3 at 7 P.M..   Make sure to sign up ASAP, and check out Women & Co.'s website.  During a time of economic uncertainty, a crash course on wealth management can come in handy.

Continue reading "DATE CHANGED to June 3! NYWSE Workshop: The Nuts & Bolts of Wealth Management For & By Women" »

April 18, 2008

NYWSE - The Nuts & Bolts of Wealth Management For & By Women on May 20

NYWSE invites you to our first member-led workshop! 

Nicole Drury, Financial Adviser at Citi Smith Barney, will lead a workshop on wealth management geared toward women on May 20 at 7 P.M..   Make sure to sign up ASAP, and check out Women & Company's website.  During a time of economic uncertainty, a crash course on wealth management can come in handy.

Continue reading "NYWSE - The Nuts & Bolts of Wealth Management For & By Women on May 20" »

March 20, 2008

NYWSE - Guest Speaker Lara Galinsky from Echoing Green on March 27

Join New York Women Social Entrepreneurs (NYWSE) on Thursday, March 27 for Guest Speaker Lara Galinsky, Author & VP of Strategy at Echoing Green

NYWSE is proud to present a special guest who will be speaking at our March 27 meeting. Lara Galinsky is VP of Strategy at Echoing Green and co-author of Be Bold, which is "a call to action for a new generation of social leaders."

Continue reading "NYWSE - Guest Speaker Lara Galinsky from Echoing Green on March 27" »