City Launches Program to Encourage Entrepreneurs

Monday, Jul 20, 2009  |  Updated 2:04 PM EDT
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City Launches Program to Encourage Entrepreneurs

New York City is launching a program to encourage entrepreneurship amid massive layoffs and economic downturn.

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New York City will fight the erosion of its financial services industry by recruiting new companies from China and elsewhere while encouraging laid-off workers to start up and join new businesses, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Wednesday.

     The efforts are part of a series of business-related incentives aimed at helping the financial services industry recover from the economic downturn. Some 9 percent of the city's jobs and more than one-third of its income comes from the finance sector.
    
Bloomberg was to formally announce the plan at the first city-sponsored "business incubator" in Manhattan, where entrepreneurs will be able to rent office space for just $200 per person per month. Under the program, hundreds will be able to take advantage of networking opportunities and receive training as they try to launch new companies.
    
Other initiatives include an Angel Fund that will give local entrepreneurs up to $250,000 in seed money.
    
With the collapse of some of Wall Street's biggest investment firms, Bloomberg's administration is seeking to attract new blood to lower Manhattan.
    
Officials plan to partner with the state to direct $30 million in federal aid to financial services companies relocating to the neighborhood.
    
The city also wants to launch an international recruiting effort targeting commercial banks and insurance companies based in countries like China and India, whose economies have been growing rapidly.
    
On a smaller scale, a yearly international business plan competition is meant to attract fledgling companies from around the world.

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