By Jamillah Wright
Six elite women entrepreneurs were celebrated during Women in Business New York’s March Women’s Month celebration held last night at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
The crowd extended that salute with resounding applause for the founders of WIBNY, Cassandra Tennyson and Koren Benbow-Fung, for their own work as business owners and activists who are impacting the lives of sister entrepreneurs across the city.
Born in Brooklyn, NY, Tennyson worked at several companies, including Solomon Smith Barney, America Online Corporate Communications and Citi Private Bank Events. However, her passion for event planning led her to launch Sublime Moments Events in 2006, a full-service event business. As founder and CEO with 14 years of event planning experience, her goal is to be one of the leading event planners in New York City.
Koren Benbow-Fung, also a New York native, worked in advertising for 16 years at MTV Networks, Nickelodeon and FOX Networks before launching her own business. She is now CEO and owner of JMFW Printing, a full-service printing, design and digital solutions company. As a woman entrepreneur working in a male-dominated field, Benbow-Fung mentors other women to pursue leadership roles in the printing industry.
Over the years, the two friends have worked hard in their respective businesses and always made time to support each other through the challenges of business ownership in New York. “Being an entrepreneur is empowering, but it’s not easy,” said Tennyson. “It’s really important to have a strong support system if you want to turn your dream into reality.”
Tennyson and Benbow-Fung both saw a need for more women business owners to collaborate. So in 2015, they co-founded Women in Business New York, a network and accelerator that provides services to connect, empower and fuel the growth of women entrepreneurs. “We are a network of women with a mission,” said Benbow-Fung. “We want all women-owned businesses to be exposed to the resources necessary to succeed, grow and, most importantly, generate revenue.”
By joining the network, members can access shared workspaces, training programs, networking events and more. They can also benefit from digital and tech services, such as printing, cross-platform marketing and graphic design support.
“Entrepreneurship continues to grow among women,” said Tennyson, who is also an active member of the Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) Committee at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
“We need a strong support system for women businesses in New York. Through our organization, we are doing our part to help these businesses succeed.”
For more information about Women in Business New York, visit www.wibny.com.
Jamillah Wright is Founder & CEO of Write It Up, a full-service writing and communications company.