The Dawoodi Bohra community around the world is known for its entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen. The Bohras of Detroit, a city known for a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem, are no different. Although there is an existing base of business owners, this year the Detroit community committed to supporting members’ business development and growth through multiple seminars and an exhibition. The initiative kicked-off during the holy month of Ramadan, a time not only for spiritual reflection but for learning and improving self.
As part of this initiative, various seminars were held to support business owners and those thinking about starting their own venture, leaving attendees motivated and inspired to take action. One seminar highlighted the different paths in business one can take as they embark on their own entrepreneurship journey. Setup as a panel discussion, each presenter shared their own experiences they learned from along the way. For instance, one seasoned entrepreneur started his chemical operations by buying an established business and then acquiring others. One of the women on the panel started an imprint franchise operation with a partner. A millennial shared how he started his first business as a teenager and today he runs a successful business he established when he was living outside of Michigan. No matter what the journey was, the message was the same: the hardest part is taking the first step. After that you will find the resources needed to keep you going. Above all, have the faith and confidence needed to succeed.
Another seminar was solely conducted on Qardan Hasana (the system of interest-free loans operated by Muslim communities) where speakers shared their experiences of receiving Qardan Hasana as well as contributing to Qardan Hasana to help others needing funding to support their business development and growth. Other seminar topics included how to leverage partnerships to start and grow a business. The overall message across all the seminars remained the same: there are many resources available, whether they be government resources like the Small Business Administration or Dawoodi Bohra initiatives like Qardan Hasana.
The Dawoodi Bohras of Detroit have over a dozen women-owned businesses across various industries. The business growth initiative which began over a month ago culminated with a women-owned businesses exhibition allowing vendors to share their work with over 300 people, widen their reach and make immediate sales. Exhibitors included bakers, various types of caterers, jewelry, fashion, and an art studio for children. Not only were vendors happy with the event, but attendees consistently shared that they were unaware of all of these local businesses that they would love to support.
By holding seminars about funding & business development, creating a platform to share real-life experiences from business owners, and hosting an exhibition, members of the community were inspired to learn, connect, and take that hard first step towards developing and growing their business ideas. This business growth initiative is just the beginning of a long-term vision of the Dawoodi Bohras of Detroit in helping to develop business ownership in the community since small-businesses are the engine of our economy.