Utica woman named Young Entrepreneur of Year

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The Small Business Association Upstate New York District Office continued with its virtual celebrations during National Small Business Week, officially announcing during a virtual event its SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Francesca Orsomarso, founder and president of FMN Creative, a Utica-based boutique digital public relations firm, earned this year’s honors.

“While this year’s celebrations are unlike those that have come before, I believe it is more important than ever to recognize our small business community for its innovation and tenacity. The SBA Upstate New York District Office is excited to recognize Francesca Orsomarso, a dedicated entrepreneur who prides herself as a creative problem solver who can harness social media,” said SBA District Director Bernard J. Paprocki. “It’s truly inspiring to see young people like Francesca turn their passion into a successful business – and grow it – right here in Upstate New York.”

Orsomarso was nominated by the Mohawk Valley Small Business Development Center, where she is also a client, by Director Roxanne Mutchler and Business Advisor Paul Arvantides. Their nomination spoke to Orsomarso leveraging advice and counseling received from the Mohawk Valley SBDC to successfully expand her business, increase sales and employment opportunities, harnessing innovation and achieving entrepreneurial potential, Paprocki said. FMN Creative is a full-service social media marketing agency that was founded in 2016 when Orsomarso decided to combine her passion for marketing and music. Since starting, her business has become an SBA Certified Women-Owned Small Business and a New York State Certified Women’s Business Enterprise and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business.

“I am so thankful to be recognized for this honor. I never set out to be an ‘entrepreneur.’ I started my business at 23-years-old out of a spare bedroom in my home, with my laptop and the belief that marketing is like good music — it should get an audience listening and taking action,” said FMN Creative founder and president Francesca Orsomarso. “From day one, that is the mindset and passion that I have wanted to provide to my clients through digital marketing services, and in my wildest dreams, I never imagined it would have led me here.

“I am incredibly thankful for the mentorship and continued guidance I have received through the years,” she continued. “I would like to especially thank my mentors at the Mohawk Valley Small Business Development Center, Roxanne Mutchler and Paul Arvantides, who nominated me for this award. And I am so grateful to the SBA for all of the resources and opportunities they continue to provide me in growing my business.”

Orsomarso is a graduate of Mohawk Valley Community College’s ThINCubator, having operated from both her home and the co-working space since 2016. This October, Orsomarso will open a new office location in South Utica. This second office space will allow for additional engagement with clients, both digitally and physically, especially important as she recently launched an online “Social Shop” and newly expanded social media training services. 

“Job creators like Francesca Orsomarso and FMN Creative have shown strength and resiliency since beginning in 2016. Francesca’s innovation, dedication and ability to pivot during uncertain times are fuel to our American economic engine. She is an outstanding example of the success of the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program, which saved the day for 349,000 New York small businesses through forgivable loans to keep employees on payroll and help pay the bills,” said SBA Regional Administrator Steve Bulger.

The U.S. Small Business Administration has celebrated National Small Business Week (NSBW) for more than 50 years, recognizing the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. The annual event recognizes the nation’s top small businesses, entrepreneurs, small business advocates and champions from across the country.

Local awards were also presented to businesses in the SBA Upstate New York District which covers 34 counties in the Empire State – from the Hudson Valley, Mohawk Valley and Capital Region to the North Country, Finger Lakes and Southern Tier. Small business owners and entrepreneurs throughout the district’s service area were acknowledged for their innovation and resilience.

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