Total loan: $5,000
New Brunswick, NJ, United States / Retail
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A loan helped a female entrepreneur promote artisans, repurposing, and community.
I am a Ugandan-American who migrated to the United States in 2000. From early childhood, environmental conservation and social development drove my actions. After working in the private sector, a career in the humanitarian sector in Sierra Leone and Afghanistan exposed me to driven and resilient women in poor countries who in spite of economic, political or social barriers, continued in numbers to establish businesses to live independently. I completed an MBA with the intention of opening a business that not just generates profit, but that can merge an interest in environmental conservation (repurposing and reusing), art, and multi generational interaction. Additionally, this real life experience allows me to offer better advice to entrepreneurs and program developers in developing countries. Papillon & Company opened just two weeks ago, 1 September and already entered into agreements with two local artists to showcase and sell their art sculptures, pottery and paintings through the store. This can help expand the store's reach and create a local market for artists. We also expect to sign an agreement with the Metuchen Arts Council to showcase Metuchen and nearby artists' works and hold related learning events in a dedicated social space. Combining the business side with a social side can have benefits for both the store and for the community, ensuring a business thrives in a tough economy, drives traffic to the store with social activities, and encourages interaction in person and virtually. This business will combine my experiences in the private sector, and the humanitarian experience while merging my passion for recycling, the arts, and community.