Homepage Transcriptions

Kibrom’s Ethiopian and Eritrean Food Story

“My name is Kibrom Elash and I am from Eritrea. I was born and grow up in Ethiopia, the Ethiopian government deported all Eritreans. I went to refugee camp, I lived there for a while, about five years. Me and my wife, we rented a cafeteria, serving tea, coffee, and sandwiches. So after two years, I started the process in 2010 and just I had to wait for a while, 3 years to come to the United States.”

“So what made you decide to start a business and how that came about?”

“My dad was businessman, so I had also a plan with my wife. Jannus EO, is, I can say God gave me Jannus EO. They helped me a lot just with ideas and with getting the permits. I got a loan to open the restaurant. When I was working with them just to get the licensing and the permits, I was thinking, oh my god, how could I do this just by myself? I was just, you know, it was very, very hard for me. I’d like to say just thank you for Jannus EO because there are a lot of people, new people, newcomers who have plan to start their own businesses, to go to school. Jannus EO is just really good.”

Faiza’s Childcare Story

“So we are going to start with your story. Where you’re from and why you left.”

“My name is Faiza, I’m from Somalia. When I come here I didn’t know anything, the business, from the daycare business. Jannus program is so beautiful and amazing, because they give me everything I have like they found the toys, and also give like loan, that’s why I pay a car, and that I why I can do everything. And also you can, you don’t have a car, what can you do? Somalia, if you go in the street, it is so scary. In America, when I come to America, I feel safe. it’s different, that life and this life.”

“During the day, what makes you really happy?”

“Oh, when I, me and the kids we got a (inaudible), that’s make happy.”

“Okay, you’re getting your diploma in May, and so what are you gonna do after that?”

“I go to the college, give big thanks to Kate, because she is so amazing in my life, she helped with everything and also I confuse my business, I tell you, everything, thank you so much.”

BeeWise Goods’ Story

“My name is Gabrielle Craig, and I own BeeWise Goods. When we started it, it was just meant to be a supplemental income, because we were part of that economy collapse, so the thing I knew how to do was make things, so I put it out to friends and family and said if you need anything hemmed, if you need anything repaired… I started a blog about it. You know, just basically daily-ness of starting over, new life. What came from that was crafts, because that was also taking off you know, the whole craft culture, and you walked in, Gina Brassier, and said hey have you ever, do you ever hear of anybody where you need to expand your business…?”

“- that were doing, ummm, eco-friendly businesses which I know was…”

“- yes, that’s right, it was green, and you kind of said that, right, exactly, and that it was within you know a couple of days where I was like wait a minute, I have a green business. Even having somebody offer you a microloan up ’til then it was oh, put it on your credit card, you know, that’s what I thought of a microloan as, which is…”

“- which I think is the most common way that women start their businesses.”

“- and it’s a huge mistake because of that interest rate. The people that I worked with at Jannus not only up-front, and honest and transparent about the process, they also were enthusiastic about making sure you succeeded. They are there as an advocacy for small business, for the small entrepreneur, and it’s the best place to start because it’s personal.”