For decades the women of New York have been at the forefront of the local business community, running companies in industries as diverse as law, media, construction, finance and architecture. Today there are nearly 600,000 women-owned businesses in New York, the most of any city in the U.S.
The statistic reflects women’s grit and determination to succeed professionally. The figure also represents numerous pioneer business owners, some of whom have been in their roles for decades.
With its list of Notable Women Business Owners, Crain’s recognizes those who have forged their career paths and, in turn, powered the city’s economy. Women-owned companies represent more than 40% of all registered businesses in the city and generate more than $70 billion in revenue annually.
This list includes trailblazers such as Dorothea Regal, who founded a litigation law firm 25 years ago, a rare event for the time, and Barbara Armand Kushner, who 30 years ago set up a construction management firm that has city agencies as clients today. Also on Crain’s list is Marci Lobel-Esrig, who more recently established a bill-payment service, SilverBills, to help manage household finances.
The accomplishments of the women on these pages mirror a commitment by the city to support women-owned businesses. The Department of Small Business Services, for example, created Women Entrepreneurs NYC, an initiative that enables women to start and grow businesses.
For their part, the honorees have given back to their communities, encouraging future generations of women business owners.
Read on to learn more about these women of distinction and be inspired by their success.
President, Anat Gerstein
Before starting her own business, Anat Gerstein was the chief of staff and press secretary for city Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum. In those roles, Gerstein was known as a hardworking, thoughtful and strategic manager. In the past decade she has used her skills to develop Anat Gerstein into a go-to agency for nonprofits. Gerstein provides a range of communications services, including media relations, digital marketing and donor outreach. In the past year she has experienced many successes. To name a few, she helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for BronxWork’s food pantries, aided in persuading Mark Zuckerberg to ban Holocaust denial posts, and facilitated the removal of the city police from interactions with emotionally distressed individuals.