UTICA, N.Y. — The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has recognized a Utica business owner as upstate New York’s Entrepreneur of the Year.
The SBA honored Francesca Orsomarso, founder and president of FMN Creative, a boutique digital public-relations firm.
The agency presented the award during a virtual meeting held during the SBA’s National Small Business Week, between Sept. 20 and 26. The annual event recognizes the nation’s top small businesses, entrepreneurs, and small-business advocates from across the country.
“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,” Bernard J. Paprocki, director of the SBA’s Upstate New York district office, said. “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.”
Two officials with the Mohawk Valley Small Business Development Center (SBDC) — Roxanne Mutchler, center director, and Paul Arvantides, a business advisor — nominated Orsomarso for the award, Paprocki said. Orsomarso is an SBDC client.
Their nomination “spoke to” Orsomarso leveraging the SBDC’s advice and counseling to successfully expand her business; increase sales and employment opportunities; harnessing innovation; and “achieving entrepreneurial potential,” Paprocki added.
FMN Creative is a social-media marketing agency that Orsomarso founded in 2016 when she decided to combine her “passion” for marketing and music, per the SBA news release. 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. These certifications allow FMN Creative to participate in government contracting, which has “opened doors to more opportunities” for Orsomarso’s business to grow and expand.
“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,” Orsomarso said. “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!”
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 month, Orsomarso plans to open a new office location in South Utica. This second office space will allow for additional meetings with clients, both digitally and in-person. The second office is considered “especially important” as Orsomarso recently launched an online “Social Shop” and newly expanded social-media training service referred to as FMN Creative’s Social Strategy Academy, the SBA said.