Women's Equality Day: Westchester aims to lift up women-owned businesses with Launch1000
Westchester is doing its part to lift women-owned businesses on Women's Equality Day by shedding light on the Westchester's Launch1000 program.
Women in New York make just 86 cents on average for every dollar a man earns, but progress is being made every day to close that.
Women make up about 20% of all businesses nationwide but salaries and opportunities still lag behind their male counterparts, according to the Small Business Administration.
Mount Vernon-native, Marion Henson, is carrying the torch as a Black and women-owned business owner.
Henson is a graduate of Westchester Economic Development's Launch1000 program.
Her pop-up grocery business, Bloom Healthy, makes healthy food more affordable and accessible.
It opened last July and has been a success ever since.
Anyone can apply to Launch1000 regardless of gender, but the program does move the county towards a more gender-equal local economy.
There are currently 400 people taking part in the program. It provides free business training and mentorship to help residents launch their own businesses. At least half of them are women, according to county Economic Development Commissioner Bridget Gibbons.
"Some business owners have advantages that others don't, and it reflects on us how well we help our diverse and disadvantaged businesses," said Gibbons.