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Senator Clinton Announces MicroBizNY at Russell Sage College Conference
   December 10, 2003


Senator Hillary Clinton Announces Formation of MicroBizNY at a One-Day Conference Held on the Russell Sage College Campus
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) joined leading microenterprise development organizations at a one-day conference held at Russell Sage College campus today to announce the formation of MicroBizNY – New York’s first statewide association aimed at supporting business enterprise opportunities for primarily low-income people and communities. The conference was sponsored by The Sage Colleges, MicroBizNY, the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), Aspen Institute, and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
“Although it is called ‘microenterprise,’ it is a macro idea – a big idea with vast potential,” said Senator Clinton. “Whether we are talking about rural corners of Hamilton County or the streets of the Bronx, microenterprise is an invaluable tool in alleviating poverty, promoting self-sufficiency, and stimulating economic activity in some of the state’s most disadvantaged communities. The ideals that make microenterprise work are not new – responsibility, hard work, and personal achievement. What’s revolutionary is the group of people given the chance to partake in the dream. It requires us to think about the poor among us in a new light, and to see the potential that they see in themselves.”
Microenterprise is defined as a business with five or fewer employees with limited capital and without access to the traditional commercial banking sector. Until now, New York was one of the few states that did not foster a formal microenterprise association. MicroBizNY is expected to provide real solutions for those who need help to start their own small businesses.
“At Russell Sage College, we educate future women of influence to make a positive difference in the world,” said Jeanne Neff, president of The Sage Colleges, who introduced the conference. “MicroBizNY demonstrates that very small businesses can make a very big difference, especially for women and minorities. Our degree program in business and organizational management stresses social responsibility and encourages entrepreneurship – a good background for women in businesses of any size.”
Sage has adopted the tagline “Women of Influence” to encompass the myriad ways it educates, empowers, and enables its graduates to influence positive change. The first honorary degree at Sage was awarded to Eleanor Roosevelt in 1929.
“I want to thank Dr. Jeanne Neff, my friend and one of the leading academic presidents in the state, for inviting us to this historic campus,” said Senator Clinton. “Dr. Neff has told me that Eleanor Roosevelt spoke here . . . she would have loved the idea of MicroBizNY. She understood that a good job was the very best gift a society could provide and that’s what we’re celebrating today.”

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