About-us-all-for-small-Start-Small-Think-Big
ABOUT US

Start Small Think Big is here to advance equity and inclusion in entrepreneurship by connecting small businesses with the resources and community they need to thrive.

  • Start Small

    Start Small Think Big was conceived like so many small businesses—on a "what if" premise. Our founder, Jenny DaSilva, resonated with how challenging entrepreneurship could be for those who want to forge their own path. She explored how she could most effectively use her legal training to provide other innovators and risk-takers in her community with the resources and support they needed to create sustainable businesses.

  • Our Story

    In 2010, that "what if" idea became a reality. Start Small Think Big began to serve the Bronx, New York community. A network of legal experts started providing legal assistance to entrepreneurs and enabled small businesses to thrive.

  • 2010

    THE LEGAL PROGRAM

    Law firms began providing small businesses in the Bronx with free legal services.

  • 2012-2014

    GROWTH SPURTS

    At the time, Start Small Think Big was exclusively serving Bronx-based businesses. However, applications for support started to come in from all across New York City. We hired our first full-time staff person, opened our doors to businesses in all five boroughs, and started to refine our model for scalable growth.

  • 2015

    THE FINANCE PROGRAM

    Recognizing that law cannot be practiced in a vacuum and that for lawyers to truly add value, they must understand the "big picture," next we started to build out a finance program. We hired additional staff and began to define exactly what financial services we needed to offer to help entrepreneurs grow more sustainably.

  • 2016

    THE MARKETING & SALES PROGRAM

    By this time, we had been working with several thousand small businesses. While we helped these businesses build a strong legal and financial infrastructure, their revenue wasn't increasing as quickly as we knew it could. It became clear that many of the entrepreneurs we assisted needed marketing support to establish a strong brand and promote their products or services. We introduced the Marketing & Sales Program to help entrepreneurs attract more customers and increase their revenues.

  • 2017-2020

    CROSS COUNTRY EXPANSION

    By 2017, we were seeing an ever-increasing demand for our services from entrepreneurs, community and corporate partners, and volunteers. In response, we opened a second office in Oakland, California, and a third office in San Jose, California three years later.

  • 2020

    COVID-19 IMPACT

    COVID exacerbated many structural inequities in the United States and permanently shifted the small business landscape. It required us to respond urgently and decisively to the immediate and pressing challenges that this crisis has created for small businesses across the country. We immediately transitioned all programming online. This change enabled entrepreneurs to access our services online and by phone much more quickly and enabled us to expand nationally. We also created an Emergency Relief Fund program, which provided cash relief to entrepreneurs in our community, enabling them to cover expenses and keep their businesses open.

  • THINK BIG

    Entrepreneurs are visionaries. And Start Small Think Big will continue to get behind those visions by creating more access to expert resources that expand the horizon of opportunities for small business entrepreneurs— because growth is good for everyone.

     

    We see growth as something entrepreneurs can define for themselves based on their goals and dreams. Maybe this means opening a new brick-and-mortar location or an eCommerce site. For some, growth might mean having more time to care for themselves and nurture their relationships. We’re curious, what does growth look like to you?  

     

    #allforsmall

Our Commitment to Equity and Learning

Equity Commitment

Start Small Think Big is deeply committed to building an inclusive and anti-racist organization where clients, staff, and volunteers of all identities feel seen, heard, and valued.

We recognize the long history of exclusionary practices that have intentionally kept many marginalized communities out of the business sector, especially communities of color. We have a responsibility to play an active role in fighting systems of oppression and advancing equity in small business ownership.

We take an intentional approach to centering the needs and experiences of the most impacted communities to shape our strategic priorities across all areas of our work. We are committed to an active learning process to continually transform our policies, structures, and organizational culture to better support small business owners who face unique challenges stemming from structural racism that limit the growth and sustainability of their businesses.

By centering those at the margins, we aim to create the conditions for all groups to succeed.

 

*Start Small Think Big, Inc. is dedicated to partnering with individuals who share our values of diversity, equity, integrity, acceptance, and inclusion. We welcome business owners who, like us, accept customers, clients, and employees of all identities. These values support our vision of entrepreneurship and guide the way we work. For more information, see our values.

 


Our Values

Our Staff

We are a diverse group of nonprofit and industry professionals passionate about entrepreneurship, small business, and community building. Our mission resonates deeply with people of all backgrounds and draws a team of dedicated, innovative, and kind people.

Careers

Josephine Panzera

Josephine Panzera

Executive Director

she/her/hers

"#AllforSmall is incredibly important to me. Having been a small business entrepreneur I have a deep appreciation for the work done by an organization like Start Small Think Big to support and advocate for small businesses across the USA."

jo@startsmallthinkbig.org

Aan Chaudhry

Aan Chaudhry

Staff Attorney

She/Her/Hers

I'm #AllForSmall because supporting small businesses isn't just an economic high-five; it's a commitment to infuse our neighborhoods with heart, strength, and diversity.

aan@startsmallthinkbig.org
Alvaro Aragon

Alvaro Aragon

Legal Program Coordinator

he/him/his

"#AllforSmall means showing support for small businesses. It best simplifies Start Small Think Big's mission to provide legal, financial and marketing resources to small businesses that will benefit them in their path toward success."

alvaro@startsmallthinkbig.org
Angela Galdamez

Angela Galdamez

Staff Attorney

she/her/hers

"I am #AllforSmall because small businesses play such an important role in fostering community and a sense of belonging. As a consumer, I support small businesses as a means to invest locally, meet neighbors, and reduce my carbon footprint."

angela@startsmallthinkbig.org
Anjadai Seals

Anjadai Seals

Technology Coordinator

she/her/hers

"#AllforSmall means leveling the playing field and allowing small business owners to step into the light and shine. Small businesses impact our community significantly, and representation from each and every color is what #AllforSmall is all about."

anjadai@startsmallthinkbig.org
Arli Cornejal

Arli Cornejal

Finance Program Coordinator

she/they

"#AllforSmall means uplifting, celebrating, and empowering Black and Brown small business owners. I am so thankful to the small business owners in my community who have made our neighborhoods richer and more diverse."

arli@startsmallthinkbig.org
CRISTAL JONES

Cristal Jones

West Coast Community Engagement Manager

she/her/ella

"#AllforSmall means dismantling systematic challenges by creating opportunities of economic independence for communities of color."

cristal@startsmallthinkbig.org
Eli Wallach

Eli Wallach

Legal Fellow

He/Him

#Allforsmall - I am #AllForSmall because small businesses are key to a vibrant community. When we connect with the businesses around us on a human level, we support equity-building in our communities and add richness to our lives as consumers and community members. Small business owners and, especially, entrepreneurs facing systemic barriers, should have access to professional services.
 

eli@startsmallthinkbig.org
Ellie Stephens

Ellie Stephens

Senior Director, Client Relationship Management

she/her/hers

"Small business owners play such an important role in our local communities, and without them, our neighborhoods would not be the same. To support them is to support a dream or a passion, and I feel privileged to be able to do so."

ellie@startsmallthinkbig.org
Gabriella Mireles-Hinds

Gabriella Mireles-Hinds

Legal Program Coordinator

she/her/hers

"I am #Allforsmall because I truly believe that small business owners help create a
strong and ever-evolving foundation within their communities through the amazing
services they provide. From my time here at Start Small Think Big I have come to
understand that at the heart of many small business owners is the motivational goal of
spreading communal wealth and entrepreneurial knowledge. And to know that I can be
even a minute part of that amazing goal is why I am proud to be working towards Start
Small’s mission and to be #allforsmall"

gabriella@startsmallthinkbig.org
Ian Brown

Ian Brown

Senior Director, Technology

he/him/his

"Small businesses and entrepreneurship are the lifeblood of any thriving community. When we come together to support those businesses, we allow the creativity and diversity of our communities to flourish, which makes life richer for us all!"

ian.brown@startsmallthinkbig.org
Jacques Brunvil

Jacques Brunvil

East Coast Community Engagement Manager

he/him/his

"#AllforSmall means working with community partners to bridge the gap in connecting individuals to the resources and services they need."

jacques@startsmallthinkbig.org
José Garcia

José Garcia

Client Relationship Manager

he/they

"We are experiencing one of the toughest times for local businesses and entrepreneurs. Being #AllforSmall means giving back time and energy to those who are often overlooked, in hopes of lightening their load."

jose@startsmallthinkbig.org
Katie Paolillo

Katie Paolillo

Senior Client Relationship Manager

she/her/ella

"#AllforSmall is the acknowledgment that small businesses are the heart and soul of communities across the country. When I think of the places I love, I think of the local restaurants, shops, services that make those communities unique. When small businesses are thriving, communities are thriving."

katie@startsmallthinkbig.org
Lauren Nogay

Lauren Nogay

Senior Manager, Information Systems

she/her/hers

"To me, being #AllforSmall means supporting talented people with the bravery to pursue what is meaningful to them."

lauren@startsmallthinkbig.org
Maneesha Bhugwansing

Maneesha Bhugwansing

Impact Assessment Senior Program Manager

she/her/hers

"Supporting the people and businesses that make our communities unique."

maneesha@startsmallthinkbig.org
Marlene Lora

Marlene Lora

Administration and Office Manager

she/her/hers

"Joining SSTB in the summer of 2021, I am overjoyed to be part of a team dedicated to greater access to business education and services that offer opportunities for all."

marlene@startsmallthinkbig.org
Marley Warren

Marley Warren

Senior Director, Marketing

she/her/hers

"#AllforSmall provides the needed support to communities to close the opportunity gap created by systems of oppression in this country."

marley@startsmallthinkbig.org
Mirielle Wright

Mirielle Wright

Client Relationship Coordinator

she/her/hers

"To me, #AllforSmall means creating new avenues of support and opportunity, chipping away at existing structures of inequality. It means empowering both small businesses and the communities they serve. "

mirielle@startsmallthinkbig.org
MORGAN DEAN

Morgan Dean

Marketing & Sales Program Manager

she/her/hers

"Small business owners play a huge role in supporting our local communities and having even a small part in giving back to the community is what #AllforSmall means to me." 

morgan@startsmallthinkbig.org
Niya Branham

Niya Branham

Director of Impact & Strategy

She/Her

#AllforSmall means being a support for small businesses so that they can continue to be the heart and soul of their communities.

Niya@startsmallthinkbig.org
Rana Saifi

Rana Saifi

Marketing & Sales Program Coordinator

she/her/hers

"We are experiencing a shift from traditional corporate employment to entrepreneurship. #AllforSmall means supporting driven and talented small businesses owners to achieve their professional goals and give back to the community."

rana@startsmallthinkbig.org
Saadiah McIntosh

Saadiah McIntosh

Senior Legal Program Manager

he/him/his

"Being #AllforSmall means supporting deserving people who have been traditionally marginalized by our society. When we uplift these small business owners, we are all uplifted."

saadiah@startsmallthinkbig.org
Shiri Wolf

Shiri Wolf

Legal Program Director

she/her/hers

"As a New Yorker, I am #AllforSmall because small businesses help build safe and thriving communities and neighborhoods. As the wife and daughter of small business owners, I am #AllforSmall because I believe the passions and dedication required to run your own business can transform lives"

shiri@startsmallthinkbig.org
Shrima W. Singh

Shrima W. Singh

Director, Community Engagement

she/her/hers

"#AllforSmall means investing in the immigrant-owned businesses that are the backbone to the vibrant neighborhoods that raised me."

shrima@startsmallthinkbig.org
Victoria Shadle Williams

Victoria Shadle Williams

Director, Development

She/Her/Hers

To me, #AllforSmall means coming together to create more vibrant and equitable communities. It means closing the opportunity gap so that small businesses owners don't just survive, but thrive.

Victoria@startsmallthinkbig.org

Our Board

Leaders in finance, notable venture capitalists, philanthropists, and business professionals serve our board. We rely on their valued experiences and expertise to steer us in the best direction for success.

Alison McKinnell King

Pro Bono Counsel, Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Carolyn Cohen

Founder, Incites Solution

Chinnu Joseph

Corporate Counsel, Salesforce

Erica Lock

Senior Vice President, Blackstone Charitable Foundation

Erik Knutzen

CIO-Multi-Asset Class Strategies, Neuberger Berman (Board Treasurer)

Francesca Odell

Partner, Cleary Gottlieb Steen &Hamilton LLP

Jason C. Ewart

Partner, Latham & Watkins Llp

Jonny Price

Director of Fundraising, Wefunder

Joseph Kaufman

Partner, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (Board Chair)

Kenetia Lee

Founder & CEO, PopUP CleanUP

Kevin Boon

General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Picsart

Kristen Scheyder

Senior Vice President, Citi Foundation

Kristin Johnston

Managing Director, Finance, Blackstone

Laura Kozien

Senior Vice President, Director of Marketing, Pursuit

Marci Brenholz

Senior Director Of Development, Nyu Langone Health

Mark Kesslen

Partner, Lowenstein Sandler (Board Secretary)

Michael Pastor

Director, Tricarico Institute for the Business of Law and In-House Counsel, Adjunct Professor of Law, New York Law School

Navneet Kaur

Managing Director, Barclays Investment Bank

Steve J. Slutzky

Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Tammeca Rochester

Founder & CEO, Harlem Cycle

Valerie Malter

Retired Co-Founder & Managing Principal, Matarin Capital Management