The Business Development Collaborative is a multi-year program that offers free training, consulting, events and creative services to the diverse ecosystem of Garment District businesses, entrepreneurs and workers. The goal of the program is to catalyze business development in the Garment District, ensure the neighborhood’s workforce remains competitive, and foster the ongoing dynamism of the district now and into the future.

Partners   Programs   Resources   Contact   Join

Learn more about our first year's success and lessons learned below.

A woman at a table making fabric flowers.


The Business Development Collaborative program is provided through a cohort of artisan- and worker-focused collaboratives, university industry innovators, and expert manufacturing consulting organizations -- selected annually through a competitive Request for Proposals process. 

BDC Logos

Program design and administration is led by Resilient Cities Catalyst, a global non-profit organization of urban  practitioners and resilience experts that helps communities solve their most pressing challenges.

RCC Logo
Another view inside an embroidery studio

Program Offerings

Garment District businesses, entrepreneurs and workers can access the following free program services and support.

Register for upcoming free events at the BDC Program Calendar.

A chart


Three people standing in a circle in an accessories shop


  • The BDC Year One Report summarizes the successes, challenges and lessons learned from the Program's inaugural year.
  • ITAC’s “Faces of the Garment District” Feature showcases the diverse backgrounds and experiences of Garment District businesses - including the unique services they offer, the challenges they have overcome and the importance of being located in the district.
  • Nest’s Garment District Landscape Report and 2021 Addendum offers a thorough summary of the unique challenges and strengths of the district’s manufacturing and artisan community, including key priorities and needs.
  • Nest’s New York City Legal Resource guide provides information on local lawyers and firms who are able to support district businesses as they overcome various COVID-related challenges.
  • Nest’s NYC Garment District Makers United: Sourcing Directory aims to build connections between buyers and artisans by providing a contact list of district manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers and retailers.


Please reach out to Ameneé Siahpush ( for more information or general questions about the Business Development Collaborative program -- or feel free to be in touch directly with the 2021-22 cohort of program partners:

Custom Collaborative

A New York City-based entrepreneurship and workforce development program that trains and supports women from low-income and immigrant communities to launch fashion careers.

Contact - (

E-Com Fashion

Providing consultation, business development and digital strategy services designed to help businesses grow their business in the online digital space.

Contact - Allen Ray Sales (
              - James Rizon (


Fashion Institute of Technology's Center for Continuing and Professional Studies provides Workforce Development support by offering adult learners the opportunity to earn Certificates in areas of interest or to upskill themselves to better positoning in their current employment.

Contact - Lisa Kesselman (


A premier manufacturing advisement firm that connects New York City firms to ideas, resources, and experts to help them grow their businesses, improve their bottom lines, and achieve their strategic goals. ITAC works with companies throughout the five boroughs, helping them expand into new markets, create innovative products, develop their customer base, find new partners, improve their processes and develop sustainable practices. 

Contact - Andy Ward (
              - Lelia Kacha (

Made in NYC

A Pratt Center for Community Development initiative that supports local manufacturers and makers by giving them marketing and branding resources, valuable skills-building opportunities, and access to a supportive community of peers within the sector.

Contact - Joanna Reynolds (


A nonprofit supporting the responsible growth and creative engagement of the artisan and maker economy to build a world of greater gender equity and economic inclusion. Through programs that support the wellbeing of artisans both in the United States and globally, Nest is bringing radical transparency and opportunity to the informal handworker economy.

Contact - Nicole Franklin (
Man with a cigar pulling a length of fabric from a roll.



Business Development Collaborative partners are selected through a competitive annual Request for Proposal (RFP) process. All submitted proposals are reviewed by a committee of industry experts that provides recommendations to the Garment District Alliance Board of Directors.

Program year 2022-23 estimated timeline: 

  • RFP released: Early January 2022
  • RFP questions and clarifications: Late January 2022
  • RFP submissions due: February 2022
  • Program award announcement: April 2022
  • Program year begins: July 1, 2022