Impacting Diverse Entrepreneurs

Start Small Think Big is a nonprofit dedicated to advancing equity and inclusion in entrepreneurship by connecting small businesses with the resources and community they need to thrive. 

We focus on partnering with BIPOC entrepreneurs, women, LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs, immigrants, veterans, entrepreneurs with disabilities, low-income entrepreneurs, and formerly incarcerated entrepreneurs.

Apply for Services

Become a Volunteer

Due to incredibly high demand, 1:1 Marketing sessions are temporarily paused while we work to match folks with volunteers. We will continue to provide virtual marketing workshops and to keep updating our marketing resource guide to support your marketing needs, and our Legal and Finance programs have 1:1 sessions available.

We appreciate your patience as we work to provide the best service possible to those entrepreneurs currently waiting for marketing services!

If you have any questions, you can email us at hello@startsmallthinkbig.org

Entrepreneurs, see if you're eligible for free small business support

Get pro bono legal and finance assistance, and one-on-one marketing engagements. Once enrolled, we'll pair you with skill-based professionals who offer expert advice like navigating legal agreements, bookkeeping and taxes, digital marketing, website design, and more.

Join Us & Make An Impact In Your Community

When you share your skills with an entrepreneur, you connect with possibility. Possibility for mutual growth, partnership, and skill exchange. Your legal, finance, and marketing expertise can help secure a sustainable future for a small business—and that future belongs to us all. 

Team up with us on your community engagement strategies to connect with and support local small businesses

We want to work with you to ensure entrepreneurs get the critical resources to grow and have an equal chance of success. Let's collaborate to create programming, community-rooted events, and other resources and opportunities for free. 

Small businesses make a big difference. So can your company.

Be a business that is doing the work beyond acknowledging diversity by building a corporate social responsibility plan in the small business landscape. By getting behind a Start Small Think Big entrepreneur, progress happens.

Our Expertise

Free Small Business Workshops & Events

Real Estate Considerations

Tuesday, March 19, 2024
4:00 PM EDT
Real Estate Presentation (with Fried Frank)

Understanding the Corporate Transparency Act

Wednesday, March 20, 2024
12:00 PM EDT
Join us for a virtual webinar about navigating the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) as a small business, produced by attorneys from Goodwin Procter LLP in conjunction with the Lawyers for Civil Rights. In the session, we will go over whether the CTA applies to your business as well as how to comply

Small Business Testimonials

Cassandre Davilmar
Hector Castillo Carvajal
Nancy Rosales
Lamont Bransford-Young
Fredrick Daniels
Edouard Massih
Tammeca Rochester
Katlyn Algeria
LaParis Phillips

Cassandre Davilmar

Lakou Cafe

Cassandre Davilmar opened Lakou Cafe to host local art shows, open mic nights, cultural conversation groups, and concerts for the community. But in March 2020 sales decreased and they had to close the doors due to COVID-19. Later that year, Cassandre received a one-time $5,000 grant to add to their PPP loan. Cassandre worked with Start Small Think Big’s finance program on projections, planning, and bookkeeping. Our legal and marketing programs assisted them with conducting business online, lease review and negotiation, entity selection, trademark, and digital marketing strategy. Ultimately, Cassandre saved their business and reopened Lakou, experiencing a 38% revenue increase.

Hector Castillo Carvajal

Don Carvajal Cafe

Hector Castillo Carvajal is serious about coffee, so they created Don Carvajal Cafe to share their enthusiasm for craft roasted coffee beans, carefully sourced from hardworking farmers in Latin America, with the world. But when the pandemic hit, farmer’s markets closed, and Hector’s sales dropped. Hector reached out to Start Small Think Big, received a one-time $5,000 grant, and worked closely with our finance program on projections and planning to become a sustainable business. After attending our marketing workshops, Hector started selling cold brew and making home deliveries, all while planning for the future. Currently, Hector plans to complement their e-commerce business with a new brick-and-mortar location in the Bronx.

Nancy Rosales

Pepitos Paletas

Longing for their family and Mexican culture, Nancy Rosales, created Pepitos Paletas— and began selling fresh homemade popsicles. While a freezer is usually required to deliver paletas without compromising the product quality, Nancy invented a unique freeze box that can store the paletas at the desired temperature for up to 8 hours. Due to COVID-19, business sales decreased and Nancy sought assistance in pivoting their business model. Nancy attended Start Small Think Big’s marketing workshops and developed a membership subscription plan which enabled the business to keep going.

Lamont Bransford-Young

Fingersnaps Media Arts

Learning the art of DJ mixing is a passion Lamont Bransford-Young transformed into a business when they launched Fingersnaps Media Arts in San Francisco, California. Lamont’s DJ school offers classes on skill and technique to all ages. When Lamont was searching for a studio, they reached out to Start Small Think Big for assistance. Our team conducted a business audit and helped organize Lamont’s finances, which enabled them to secure a new school and studio space.

Fredrick Daniels


Frederick Daniels’ Barcuts expanded from hair care and styling to becoming a one-stop-shop for grooming and professional portrait services. When the pandemic started, Frederick self-taught themself photo and video editing, partnered with Start Small Think Big’s finance program on businesses projections and planning, and attended many of our marketing workshops. With the new skills they learned, Frederick was able to increase income and plan for the future. Now Frederick is looking to expand their business to Washington, D.C., and California.

Edouard Massih

Edy’s Grocer

Born in Lebanon, Edouard Mannish brought their modern Mediterranean palette to the concrete jungle of Brooklyn when they launched their private chef and catering business. But like many small business owners, COVID-19 impacted Edouard’s business model, forcing them to close their catering company and open a storefront, Edy’s Grocer. During the transition, Start Small Think Big helped Edouard with bookkeeping and digital marketing for their new business. Edouard also was awarded a one-time $5,000 grant, which enabled them to hire more staff and increase business revenue by 66%.

Tammeca Rochester

Harlem Cycle Fitness Studio

Tammeca Rochester’s indoor cycling business Harlem Cycle saw revenue decreases of more than 50% after they were forced to close their studio’s doors in March 2020 due to the pandemic. Tammeca had to get creative and quickly pivot their business model online in order to stay afloat. Tammeca knew they needed financial and legal assistance to transition their business online. Start Small Think Big helped facilitate a one-time $5,000 grant to create digital classes, and our legal program provided them with contract assistance to ensure protection of their unique business model. Harlem Cycle was able to reopen its physical location while Tammeca continues to expand their virtual business and develop new revenue streams.

Katlyn Algeria

Hitched Company

When the pandemic forced the nation to shut down, events and in-person gatherings were halted. Katlyn Algeria had just launched Hitched Company, a unique bartending experience business—by March 2020 sales declined by more than 50%. If they didn’t make some changes, Katlyn’s business would close entirely within just a few months. Katlyn was down to their last, so they reached out to Start Small Think Big. They received a one-time $5,000 grant and our marketing program assisted with the creation of a marketing plan focused on promoting their outdoor events business. Katlyn also developed a product line of dehydrated cocktails to sell online. Over the next year, Hitched Company increased revenues over 440% from 2019.

LaParis Phillips

Brooklyn Blooms

Before connecting with Start Small Think Big, LaParis Phillips opened their Brooklyn Blooms floral boutique with a mission to serve their neighborhood with uniquely curated blooms while maintaining sustainable practices. Soon after opening their first location, LaParis had goals to scale their business and provide their beautiful flower arrangements to other surrounding communities. However, they felt frustrated and defeated because while they had the vision and passion to grow their business, they didn’t have all the business resources required to do so. During the pandemic, Brooklyn Blooms received a one-time $13,000 emergency relief grant. With our support, Brooklyn Blooms’ business revenue increased 150% from 2019 to 2020 and continues to evolve. LaParis and their team were able to open a second location, and they have plans to expand and spread their love of flowers worldwide.