Monday, December 29, 2014

UJAMMA - 4th Day of KWANZAA

The fourth Day of Kwanzaa is about cooperative economics. The pooling of resources as well as the decision to invest in businesses within a community as share holders and/or customers. Let us say that there were ten people who wanted to own businesses; stores, shops and offices. Alone, none of these folks have the resources to actualize their dreams. However, if they pool their resources as investments into the most viable business idea, eventually they would have the resources to support each business' start-up costs. As members of the community, if we make the decision to spend our money at these businesses and support them, we are keeping our money within the community. Both of these are examples of UJAMMA.

One example would be what I observed of some Vietnamese and Cambodian families, who came to the US after the wars, in New York City and Dorchester, MA. Several families would pool their resources to secure housing and eventually a store front. As the store made money, they could rent another store front and more housing. After a few years, each family had a home and a business.'

The creation and maintenance of a small, local business district in a community improves the social and economic quality of life in the community as well.


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