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  • Award-Winners Mentor Award-Winners


    Nadira El Khang is one step closer to achieving her dream of opening her own store after winning the $1,000 top prize in the Spring 2012 Capital One Student Design Entrepreneur Challenge.

    The International Accounting major grew up fixing vintage leather bags in her father’s store in Morocco and now crafts her own leather goods, which she sells on her Etsy.com shop. With the help of the Capital One Entrepreneurial Program and the guidance of NYDesigns Director Natalia Argüello, Nadira’s business is rapidly growing.

    “Natalia opened doors for us that we didn’t even know about and connected us with people who work in the business world. She helped us with business cards, websites and social media,” Nadira says. “I feel like she was pushing me. She believes in my work.”

    The ten-week training program included workshops, business consultations, and meetings with Capital One mentors, LaGuardia’s Small Business Development Center advisors and resident designers at NYDesigns.

    "Working with the students from the Capital One Entrepreneurial Program at NYDesigns is always an opportunity to mentor and learn,” says Natalia. “I was specially impressed by Nadira's creativity and commitment to her business. Her handbags are crafted with a unique immigrant story.”

    The award has provided Nadira with the start-up capital she needs to create more bags for her site, as well as a camera to photograph her products. Meanwhile, Nadira says that her relationship with Natalia is a continued source of support. “She is still there for me and said that if I need anything to just ask her.”

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