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Small Business Month Spotlight: Aminata

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IRC Client stands inside store showcasing the African products she sells.

Aminata, IRC client and proud business owner, stands inside store showcasing the African items she sells.

Photo: Jessalynne Howard, IRC Staff

 

In honor of #SmallBusinessMonth we are excited to introduce Aminata, the proud business owner of an African Supermarket here in Arizona! In the year 2014, she made her way to Phoenix alone with an incredible sense of determination to succeed – with the hope to one day bring her family here.

Originally from Sierra Leone, moving to a different country where she didn’t know anyone, made for some days that were more challenging than others. She held her purpose close to her heart and with each passing day she forged ahead. “With time you are going to adjust and say okay, I’m here and [my family] is [in Sierra Leone]. I have to do something [in order] to take care of them; to move forward.”

While she has a store location today, it all began from her home when she received a Small Business grant from the City of Phoenix in 2018.  With the additional funding she sold,“African outfits, sandals, dry fish and other items from her country,” she shared. Aminata’s goal was to expand into a store front where she could sell more items.  

Soon after, Aminata was introduced to the IRC’s Micro-Enterprise program when the team visited her community. She decided to enroll as a way to help with her business in hopes of receiving a loan and to learn about the different ways in which her business could grow.

Within a year, she became the owner of a Brick-and-Mortar storefront and called it “Favor International African Supermarket,” as a tribute to her faith and gratitude.  “It’s a big blessing, for me, to come here as an immigrant - for God to bless me with [this opportunity]. For me, everything was simple with God being behind [me] -- everything was simple and easy,” she expressed.

For Aminata, all good things take time, focus, and faith. Please join us in wishing her many more successful years of running her very own business.  If you are in the area, you can visit her store at: 10423 N 19th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85021, pop in and say hello!