Empowering Entrepreneurs: BK Navy Yard Lab Launches BIPOC, Women-Owned Ventures

Brooklyn Navy Yard. Photo courtesy Optimus Ride

By Equity Media

During a recent press conference, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced the launch of a new initiative in Brooklyn that will look to provide support for local BIPOC, women-owned businesses in the wellness and beauty industry.

The program will create a new $25 million lab at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The upcoming space, referred to as AYO labs, aims to assist NYC’s crop of health and beauty entrepreneurs with business development and expansion, according to a news release.

Led by seasoned instructors, the facility will feature hands‑on training, technical assistance, mentorship, networking opportunities, as well as potential access to capital.

According to the mayor, the inspiration behind AYO labs was the low percentage of profits coming the way of BIPOC entrepreneurs in the beauty and health industry, despite the sector flourishing.

“This industry is booming through serving Black and Brown people, but the wealth is not coming into the hands of Black and Brown people,” said Mayor Adams. “Only 2.5% of the revenue can be linked to Black founded or owned beauty companies despite Black consumers making up 11% of spending.”

The first phase of the project will see the establishment of the 26,000-square-foot space, which is expected to support more than 100 entrepreneurs annually. During phase two, the initiative will look to complement the physical facility with the addition of online support.

Additionally, the project is anticipated to create over 900 direct and indirect jobs during its first five years, according to Adams.


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