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Reaching Out: Supporting Immigrant Women in Becoming Business Owners

by Ellen Drolette
January/February 2016
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/reaching-out-supporting-immigrant-women-in-becoming-business-owners/5022780/

Being a small business owner for the past 21 years has taught me many lessons. The struggle for many women like me in this business is between being a compassionate, people-person who cares for families and their children and maintaining/enforcing program hours, illness policies, and deadlines for tuition payments. The balance is the difference between success and failure. Revisiting my early days as a business owner while currently teaching a new group of providers has not only refreshed my outlook, but renewed my passion for caring for very young children. Running a business was second nature to me until I began teaching a group of women, who did not speak or write in English, how to do it. This is when I realized that the lessons we learn should be shared far and wide. I was learning more lessons about life while helping this group of women open their child care programs than I knew when I opened my own.

Just over two years ago I embarked on a journey that brought two worlds together. One world was running my small family child care business. The other world was working with a community of women from the impoverished country of Somalia. These ...

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