Originally published in Pillsbury United Communities’ Feb. 2013 Newsletter, written by Associate Director of Development Julie Brauninger.
The Brian Coyle Community Center (an operation of Pillsbury United Communities is providing a platform for East African immigrant young women to build and manage a business. Through a partnership with Augsburg College, and generously supported by a planning grant from the Minnesota Women’s Foundation, a committee of 15 girls created a business plan for a next-to-new clothing store.
Recently named the Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarf, the store will transcend and honor American and East African cultures. It will provide the girls with a hands-on opportunity to build business and entrepreneurial skills while they begin to establish financial independence.
In the next few months, the girls will engage in several field trips to established thrift stores and volunteering opportunities to continue to expand their vision for their store.
In January, they toured Express Yourself in Saint Paul and Everyday People, a more hip and co-ed clothing store. In February, they volunteered at Arc Value Village in Richfield where they learned how to sort, hang clothing, and work together to unload community donations. The girls are now looking for a prime retail location to establish the store in or near the Cedar Riverside community in Minneapolis.
There are many ways to support the girls in their endeavors, such as helping them with a clothing and jewelry drive that will take place in March. In addition, women volunteers will be sought to conduct work readiness workshops, on-the-job training sessions, job interview preparation and conduct mock interviews. There’s also a great opportunity for a female marketing executive to teach the girls about key concepts and help them develop a feasible marketing plan.
Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarf will create more than just groups of girls with marketable job skills: It will create an environment of positive job prospects for a group that previously had none, and inspire other girls to become entrepreneurs.
Interested in volunteering to support these teen entrepreneurs?
Contact Anne Rondoni for more information
at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-302-3417.
Learn more about programs at Pillsbury United Communities HERE!