Somali women living in Minneapolis, one of the nation's largest concentration of Somali immigrants, are using a custom of home to great business success. Though the women have owned small shops for years, they're pooling their money and moving on up. Relying on a collective model used in Somalia — plus two years of planning — 21 women have socked away $500 apiece. Adding donations of two business groups of $20,000 they're ready to develop their very own mall of shops.
Their mall will be the first such women's Somali cooperative in the country, according to people involved in the enterprise. It gets even more impressive, just
Many of the women who are investing in the mall can't read or write, but they are crackerjack with math because they're already running their own stores. In addition, the merging of Somali and Western business practices in the model is important because Islam forbids charging or paying interest. One of the women says, "It's very common in Africa for women to come together and put their money and their resources together. The men are always off doing their own thing."
Doing their own thing indeed! This story is entirely inspiring.