Success Stories

An educator, Dana Wales contemplated starting her own business. During the Spring of 2019, she came across a flyer announcing QEDC’s Prime Skills program. Dana registered for the 48-hour business development course, where she had the pleasure of learning about corporate structures from a lawyer, financial planning from a banker, and a well-developed business curriculum led by an expert facilitator.

After completing the course, Dana went on to formally register her business, Success in English, LLC. She wanted to build on her skills and experience as a teacher to become self-employed. Her company provides such services as Remote Learning Support, Online ESL classes, Business Literacy, and English Tutoring.

Dana has expressed her gratitude for the Prime Skills program explaining, “we’re an underserved population, and we need access to the training and resources” provided by QEDC. Indeed, as Dana continues to build her business, she has worked with several QEDC business advisors to strengthen her marketing strategy and operating plan. Furthermore, Dana has received assistance from QEDC to apply for the Minority/Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) program. Success in English, LLC is now a certified NYC MWBE, and is under review for certification with New York State, and the Port Authority.

“I am a graduate of the PRIME SKILLS Program and the owner of Zoar City Gardens, LLC, a professional landscaping business. QEDC helped me to develop my idea and take me to where I am now. I had over 100 potential customers find my business on Google and I am in the position to be fully in operation next year.”

Nanaba David Akunvabey, Zoar City Gardens
Prime Skills

“Government contracts can be confusing, and I felt intimidated to apply due the application process. That changed when I walked through the doors of QEDC. I take pride in being certified with NYC, NYS, and NY/NJ Port Authority. I could not have done this without the guidance and assistance of QEDC.”

Sabrina St. John, Developing Strategic Training Solutions for Corporations & Non-Profits

“Thanks to the support of the Queens Tourism Council, we were able to effectively promote the 2019 Queens World Film Festival not only in Queens but across the entire city. Consequently, 65% of our audience came from outside of the borough. The majority of them stayed in Queens to eat or shop. That’s good for everyone!”

Don & Katha Cato, Queens World Film Festival
Queens Tourism Council

“Completing the Entrepreneurship Assistance Center program helped me build a solid foundation to start my food business. The skills I learned have been invaluable. I had the idea, but the counselors gave me the motivation to execute it. I also met other entrepreneurs and made connections. It was a great learning experience.”

Maida Sharpe Silverio, Vegan Goods Line
Entrepreneur Assistance Center

“Being a client of the Entrepreneur Space has helped me bring my dreams of a chocolate company to reality. Coming from a corporate background, I knew nothing about a food start-up. In three years, the guidance of the Entrepreneur Space professionals has helped me produce and package chocolate truffles and bars to major corporations such as Google, Santander Bank, Soho House, and Roger Vivier.”

Milène Jardine, Milène Jardine Chocolatier
Entrepreneur Space

“MiQ has helped expand treestar*’s market reach and facilitated invaluable partnerships with major retailers, such as the Marshall Retail Group, which now distribute our artisan soaps in shops at LaGuardia and JFK airports. We have achieved more than $5,000 in sales since May 2019. I’m deeply appreciative to the great team at MiQ who made this all possible.”

Jose Alvarez, treestar*
Made in Queens

“I knew there was a market for a quality cheese shop in Queens. Though I know cheese, I also needed to know how to start a business. The counselors at the QEDC provided me with the help I needed to open the doors of Stand Alone Cheese in Jackson Heights. We opened those doors in 2019, and we’re already becoming a neighborhood institution”

Steffen Kenny, Stand Alone Cheese
One-on-One Counseling

“I was so happy when I finally got my New York City Home Improvement Contractor license. I don’t think I would have been able to do it on my own. The QEDC not only prepared me for the test, but also guided me through the entire process of starting a business in a new country. That was a big relief for me as an immigrant. I’m very grateful that the QEDC cares about immigrants.”

Xin Zhang, Home Contractor
Home Improvement Contractor Training.

“My daughters were so excited when they heard my name announced as a winner of the StartUP! Business Plan Competition. Now, with the funds provided from the grant I am actively growing my business. I am extremely grateful for all the support through the Women’s Business Center. I couldn’t have done this without their help.”

Afua Ayisi, Bosuo Food Group
Women’s Business Center and 2019 StartUP! Business Competition winner

“Richmond Hill will benefit by being included in the Avenue NYC commercial revitalization program. We look forward to Liberty Avenue becoming a stronger shopping street that will make it more attractive to businesses, residents, and visitors.”

Vishnu Mahadeo, Richmond Hill Economic Development Council
Avenue NYC