At the final meeting of the inaugural VilCap Start Business Accelerator program on Friday, April 19, Clarkston area entrepreneurs gathered to celebrate. Together they have experienced fourteen weeks of professional development and business training classes. They met one last time to find out which three businesses, selected by their own votes, would receive $10,000 low interest capital loans. With support and congratulations from Social Enterprise @ Goizueta (at Emory University), Village Capital, Refugee Women’s Network, CDF, and the Clarkston Community Center, these were the business owners selected that night.
Naima Abdullahi- Village Life Market (click Naima’s name to view full profile)
Village Life Market produces home accessories, linens and other products, with the purpose of helping refugee women become self-sufficient. Naima has employed refugees in a residential and commercial cleaning service, called Maid 4 You Cleaning Company, in Seattle, WA, and more recently has worked for the International Rescue Committee in Atlanta providing counseling services to refugees and asylees.
Samia Erol- International Languages and Cultural Service (click Samia’s name to view full profile)
International Languages and Cultural Service provides interpretation from various languages into English, as well as mentoring services, to assist clients with securing medical appointments, schooling, and support for special needs. Samia has been a manager at Old Navy and Wal-Mart stores, and has worked in a rehab center for special needs children who are hearing impaired. She has first-hand experience interpreting for her deaf son and for refugees in Clarkston and Roswell, and can translate 7 different languages.
Deepak Gajmer- Himalaya Production LLC (click Deepak’s name to view full profile)
Himalaya Production, LLC, produces and repairs traditional hand-made jewelry as well as traditional hand-made crafts and clothes. Deepak has advised start-up Bhutanese jewelry businesses in Columbus, OH, and Buffalo, NY, and plans to extend his sales to individuals looking to collect quality jewelry for personal use as well as for investment purposes.
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