“If there’s anything at all I can do for my clients, I do it.”
SCORE NYC mentor Harry Dannenberg knows how to “bootstrap” a business. During 50 years in footwear manufacturing, wholesale, and retail, he has succeeded by spotting and seizing new opportunities.
Harry uses that experience to mentor SCORE clients to assess existing markets, then identify or create new niches. “The key is the ability to see the opportunities and put things together to create new ways of doing things,” he says.
That drive came from his father, who owned shoe factories in his native Germany, but because he didn’t speak English, swept floors in a shoe factory when he came to the United States. Undaunted, he seized an opportunity to repair a machine, was given new responsibilities, ascended to managerial roles, and eventually ran his own business.
Harry joined the family business, then worked at a number of companies in product development, distribution, and sales management. He designed products for the U.S. market and contracted factories in Brazil, China, Italy, and Spain.
He was instrumental in developing and distributing footwear lines for Oscar de la Renta, Caressa, and Bisou Bisou, and owned retail stores in a number of states. Harry didn’t limit himself to shoes, pioneering new distribution models that brought hosiery to drugstores and costume jewelry to shoe stores.
“I looked for ways to introduce products in new or unfamiliar surroundings to create new markets,” Harry said.
Harry has been a SCORE mentor for 11 years, is a former SCORE NYC chairman, and manages SCORE’s large special events, including many at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.