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Doing what's best is motto of socially conscious companies

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Start Small Think Big is a socially conscious company that helps lower-income people start businesses. The non-profit formed after the U.S. economy collapsed in 2008.

Start Small Think Big operates out California and Harlem and is focused, in part, on the five boroughs. 98 percent of the small businesses they help get off the ground are owned by women and minorities.

30-percent are recent immigrants.


The Citi Foundation announced today that Start Small Think Big was selected as one of 40 nonprofit organizations as recipients of the 2018 Community Progress Makers Fund. The $20 million grant initiative supports visionary nonprofit organizations to help them roll out new approaches to long-standing urban economic challenges in six U.S. cities. Each Community Progress Maker will receive $500,000 in core operating support and access to technical assistance and a learning community.

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start small think big featured in new york magazine

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Start Small Think Big founder and New York state native Jennifer DaSilva dreamed up a way to improve things on the homefront, ironically, during a 2008 stint abroad in Cambodia. “This was during the financial crisis, and as the economy back home imploded, I started thinking about microfinance as a way of helping people in the U.S. build small businesses,” she says. She realized that most organizations tackle small-business development with funding top-of-mind. That’s not the only guidance that she noticed entrepreneurs needed — they needed legal, marketing, and financial management, too. So in 2010, DaSilva founded Start Small Think Big. “The mission is to help lower-income people start businesses by giving them the support they need to grow in a safe and responsible way,” she says. “We level the playing field.”