As a result of our financial coaching and access to low-interest (and Sharia) loans, many local small business owners are building wealth, adding jobs, and contributing to community economic development. Meet some of our satisfied customers below.
Yussuf is a Somali refugee with a wife and two children. He owns a delivery service and transports goods between the United States and Canada. He loves America and knows if he works hard he can build a good life for his family. In addition to supporting his immediate family, Yussuf supports almost forty family members still in Somalia. He received small business loans and business coaching services from LHOME and our community partner the Navigate Enterprise Center at Jewish Family and Career Service. LHOME structures loans to the Muslim community to be Sharia-compliant. This means our clients pay a service fee instead of interest. Yussuf is grateful to LHOME for helping him build wealth for his family.
Farhiyo & Ismail
When you walk into Farhiyo’s shop in the International Mall at 8th Street and York, you’ll notice it’s definitely not what most Americans would think of when they got to a mall; It’s much more International — a path winds through a nondescript building, weaving in and out of densely filled shops. Immigrants greet you and showcase their brightly colored clothing, accessories, and household items. When we visit with clients Farhiyo and Ismail, they offer us tea and cookies and a comfortable chair. They discuss how to treat their customers with respect and how this shop supports their family in the states and their many children still living abroad. We watch the ease with which they greet customers and complete transactions throughout our visit.
LHOME made a loan to Farhiyo and Ismail to purchase enough merchandise to start their store. The Navigate Enterprise Center at Jewish Family and Career Services provided technical assistance and helped with their business plan. Prior to working with LHOME and JFCS, starting up a business in America was confusing and seemed out of reach. With our help, however, the two could capitalize their shop and are well on their way to sustaining operations well into the future. Ismail explains that when the shelves are full and varied in options of colors and sizing, customers return far more often to make repeat purchases. Owning their own business and having flexible hours allows Farhiyo to pray, mind the shop, and take care of her daughter, while also allowing Ismail to work part-time as needed.
As refugees, they’ve both had to work extremely hard to get where they are today. Farhiyo came to the U.S. six years ago with her five-year-old daughter Hamdi, leaving 9 children behind in Somalia, to whom they still send all of their disposable income. Ismail was unable to come to the country until September, 2016. They are both extremely hard workers; before the shop, Ismail worked in unsafe working conditions and long hours in factories, where he was rarely given breaks to pray, and Farihyo worked hauling luggage across the tarmac at the airport. Today, Ismail is a part owner of an International grocery store and aspires to start more businesses, such as a commercial cleaning service. Please visit their shop at the International Mall and tell them LHOME sent you!