Community Partner Highlight: Marsha Yuan, Vice President at the Partnership Fund for New York City
1. How long has your organization been in the business of helping small businesses?
The Partnership Fund for New York City has been funding small businesses and helping create jobs throughout New York City’s five boroughs since 1996 as an affiliate of the business leadership organization Partnership for New York City (PFNYC). The Fund was founded as a private fund with a civic mission to support growing businesses and entrepreneurs with the specific goal of spurring economic development and job creation. PFNYC formed a new initiative, GoBizNYC (www.GoBizNYC.org), which aims to create a citywide coalition of small business owners and entrepreneurs. This coalition will work with local chambers of commerce, industry groups, and community organizations to serve as a coordinated platform from which members of the small business community from across the five boroughs can more effectively assert their voices in legislative and policy debates.
2. What’s been your organization’s biggest hurdle in achieving its goals of aiding small businesses?
The Fund looks to catalyze growth in emerging sectors and aims to support both for profit and non-profit entrepreneurs typically in need of growth capital. We always look to leverage the assets of PFNYC so that the established business community can provide support to earlier stage enterprises. The Fund typically makes investments in the $500K to $5M range.
3. Describe any major accomplishments for your organization over the last year.
Since our founding, we’ve deployed $130M across more than 100 investments with over 12,000 jobs created for New Yorkers. We’ve invested $47mm in women and minority owned companies and $50mm in low income communities and/or in enterprises serving low income populations. The Fund has been successful in spurring considerable growth in the new media, financial technology (fintech), digital health technology and life sciences sectors. We’ve had success, recently, in the food sector where we’ve invested $8.5mm to date. This sector is of increasing importance to the NYC economy and is especially productive in generating skilled, living wage job opportunities.
4. What are the key strategic goals for your organization over the next year?
We’ve committed $20mm to support the development of urban tech campuses as part of PFNYC’s recently released NYC Jobs Blueprint. This report suggests how the next mayor can partner with the business community to expand job creation and solidify the city’s status as a global leader of business over the next decade. We will also continue to focus on funding the fintech, digital health, life sciences and food sectors to further diversify the city’s economy.
5. What should a small business entrepreneur know about your organization?
The Partnership Fund can provide both debt and equity financing, depending on the needs of the project, with our investment size ranging from $500K to $5million. We principally seek to fund a company’s growth, as it scales its operations, and are interested in projects with meaningful job creation. We do not typically provide working capital lines or refinance existing debt. All investments must be for New York City-based operations.
6. Where can they get more information about the Partnership for New York City?
You can learn more at www.pfnyc.org and submit your investment proposal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. Describe your partnership with NYBDC and why it is instrumental to your organization achieving its mission.
We successfully partnered with the NYBDC on the Hurricane Sandy Relief funding for small businesses and deployed $500K of grant funding from our organization alongside emergency loans from NYBDC.
The Fund is an active investor and supporter of the NYC food sector. In cases where a potential investment does not meet our minimum investment size of $500K, we always seek to introduce these companies to other sources of capital. We are excited that NYBDC is administering the NYC Food Manufacturers Growth Fund, another key financing source available to NYC’s food manufacturing companies.
The Partnership Fund looks forward to continuing to work with NYBDC to accelerate New York’s economy and create jobs in communities throughout the five boroughs.