Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) hosted a kickoff celebration on November 15, 2018 at Bethel Gospel Tabernacle Church in Jamaica to welcome aspiring entrepreneurs who applied and were accepted to his Madam C.J. Walker Institute Business Boot Camp.
Those in attendance expressed interest in starting a myriad of business in fields such as child care, food service, health, beauty, car repair, consulting, construction, and child and youth development.
During the upcoming mandatory 4-week boot camp participants will learn how to repair / build their credit, and design a personally, tailored budget. It will feature various workshops on topics including business planning, choosing a legal business structure, how to certify as a Minority or Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE), access to capital and more.
"I am committed to helping all of you achieve your dreams of business ownership," Sanders said. "Business is all about relationships and once you build those relationships then it's easier to navigate the process and succeed. So as we move forward together in this endeavor I want you to start looking at your financial institutions, even the ones you already bank with, as partners."
Sanders' Boot Camp program is named after Madam C.J. Walker who is recognized as the first black woman to become a millionaire in America. In addition to being an entrepreneur with a successful line of hair care products, Walker was also a philanthropist, and a political and social activist.
Classes will be held twice a week for four weeks. Participants must attend all sessions to successfully complete the training
The guest speakers at the kickoff event were Dijon Tamaya and Solomon Ponniah of Santander Bank.
"We have some great initiatives and we are excited to partner with Senator Sanders for this program," Ponniah said. "We are part of the community and we are here to help you."