Habari gani – ujamaa : What’s the news? Cooperative economics.

Cooperative EconomicsFirst light the black candle – umoja (unity) and use it to light the other two red candles: kujichagulia and ujimaa (self-determination and collective work and responsibility) then  the final red candle ujamaa (cooperative economics.)

As each candle is lit, shout harambee (let’s pull together.) Exchange zwandi and listen to a toast made by the elder. Then pass the kikombe cha umoja (cup of unity) to each guest.

It is now time to reflect on the principle of the day.

The principle of ujamaa – cooperative economics

As an entrepreneur, the principle of cooperative economics is at the heart of my existence. My grandfather was born in 1902 and operated a barber shop his entire life. I guess I inherited his spirit of independence and freedom.

I believe in self-employment. I believe in small business. I believe that the only way this nation will recover economically is through strengthening small business. Cooperative economics is at the core.

Business ownership creates self-reliance and financial security that cannot be achieved when working for someone else. This is why teaching others how to build successful businesses is at the core of my own small business. In my small way, I am helping to build a strong future for our country.

Cooperative economics is the key to building stability. Stability comes from helping each other. We must find ways to build businesses and to share the burdens of business ownership. We must show love for the small business community.

 As consumers, we must support the small businesses in our communities – they and not the large corporations are the job providers.

 Small businesses care about people more than crunching numbers. They build relationships with their employees and their customers. These relationships are more important to them than their profits, but without profits, they cease to exist. We can keep small businesses profitable by spending our dollars in our own communities.

Strong businesses make strong communities.

My ujamaa resolutions

  • I will continue to buy from small businesses rather than large ones whenever I can.
  • I will continue to teach others how to become successful entrepreneurs.
  • I will continue to give back economically to my community.
  • I will show love to other entrepreneurs through word of mouth and any other way I can help.
  • I will show my eternal gratitude to each of my customers.

Harambee, harambee, harambee, harambee

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