Since its inception in 1993 as the Small Business Lab, the Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship has made an enormous impact on the development of small businesses, especially in New York City. In the past two decades, the Field Center has served 10,000 clients and helped secure more than $60 million in debt and equity financing. Additionally, it has been instrumental in saving more than 1,600 jobs as well as creating approximately 2,000 more. Field Center clients benefit enormously from expertise provided by Baruch’s Small Business Development Center, a satellite of the New York State Small Business Development Center.
Almost as impressive as the quantity of businesses impacted by the center is the quality—and sheer diversity—of these (literal) upstarts. Among the Field Center’s recent clients are Stiletto Spy School, which provides training to increase self-confidence and self-esteem in the average woman; SuperMango Media, an interactive agency for comedians; Abode New York, a contemporary home furnishings boutique in Williamsburg, Brooklyn; and Breuckelen Distilling, the first gin distillery in the borough of kings since Prohibition.
Another Field client, Kelvin Natural Slush (kelvinslush.com), can be spotted on the streets of New York via its eye-catching blue truck. Kelvin sells frozen slush beverages in distinctive flavors, such as Spicy Ginger and Green & Black Tea, which earned Kelvin a prestigious Vendy Award for Best Dessert during its first year of operation, 2010. Says ex-lawyer Alex Rein, Kelvin’s founder and owner, “We can’t say enough good things about our experience with the Field Center. We have been working with Ulas Neftci (director, Midtown Manhattan Small Business Development Center at Baruch) and his team for several years now. He has provided valuable assistance throughout our development.” From helping to secure Kelvin’s first business loan to accountant referral, the Field Center has been instrumental in the Slush’s success. “We would recommend the Field Center to any small business owner or would-be entrepreneur,” says Rein.