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Bajalia Trading Company Celebrates 1 Million

With sales of just under 1 million dollars so far this year, Bajalia Trading Company is on the leading edge of a rapidly growing area of business and non-profit cooperation: social entrepreneurialism. At the heart of this movement is a mission to alleviate poverty and suffering. The passion for this mission is fueled by the conviction that releasing the latent talents within the people of these cultures will set in motion a sustainable economic and social development model.

The idea of “social entrepreneurship” has struck a responsive cord. It combines the

passion of a social mission with an image of business-like discipline, innovation, and

determination. It calls corporations to compassionate capitalism. The time is certainly ripe for entrepreneurial approaches to social problems. Many governmental

and philanthropic efforts have fallen far short of our expectations. Major social sector institutions are often viewed as inefficient, ineffective, and unresponsive. Social entrepreneurs are needed to develop new models for a new century.

"What business entrepreneurs are to the economy, social entrepreneurs are to social change. They are the driven, creative individuals who question the status quo, exploit new opportunities, refuse to give up,and remake the world for the better" says David Bornstein, Author

How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas

Alleviating world plagues like poverty and the exploitation of women and children is no small endeavor. Lasting solutions will require cooperation and involvement from various sectors of society. In addition to relief provided for the suffering, lasting change will only come as the poor are able to put their latent talents to work building self-dignity, and ultimately a sustainable economy and society. What the poor want is not aid, but jobs – real jobs, not subsidized ones. This is the dignity and self-reliance they deserve.

Debbie Farah founded the Bajalia Trading Company in 2003 as a non-profit fair trade organization that partners with entrepreneurs and artisans in impoverished countries to stimulate economic growth in those regions. Debbie is a first generation Palestinian-American, who speaks both Arabic and English. She brings to

Bajalia extensive cross cultural experience as well as over 20 years

experience in in advertising, design, banking and business roles for major fortune 500 companies including: Bloomingdales, Richs, Neiman Marcus, Horchow, Macy’s and Marshall Fields, Dell Computers, Ford, Coca- Cola Turner Broadcasting and Southwestern Bell, to name a few.

In five short years Debbie has assembled a multi-cultural team and:

• Has identified & trained thousands of artisans from 18 of the most impoverished countries;

• Has built an international network of people and organizations that allow Bajalia to go beyond fair-trade and to serve the artisans and the communities where they live;

• Has established Bajalia as a US market-leader in designing products, training the artisans to produce these products and then marketing them profitably to the US and European market;

• Has created a proven a social-entrepreneurial business model that is profitable and improves the artisans quality of life;

• Has brought Bajalia to the point of ready for scale;

• Has attracted and developed clients interested in kinder capitalism;

• Has combined various networks of strategic partnerships wholesaling as a global force.

Field partners share their stories of how their work has been impacted by Bajalia :

“If You Build It, They Will Come” says our China Project Manager,"Last month, we received our biggest order ever for our jewelry products. The order was so large I was hesitant on accepting the order as I was doubtful if we could meet the deadlines for the deliveries. But this is because I forget that we serve a God who sees all, knows all and is in control of the universe at all times. Discussing it with my team-mates and our girls, we decided that we will meet the order even if we have to go knocking on doors at the brothels to invite girls to help us finish the order. In the last weeks upon acceptance of the order, we have had ladies of the night just showing up asking to join our work. The number of girls in our shelters has tripled. "

"My Mother needs help" is what I heard from one of our producer groups in India. They started out with one family. This family was left to fend for themselves as their father was embarrassed to have had 5 daughters and no sons. He left to find another wife, and left the women to fend for themselves. The eldest daughter 15 or so was persistent in asking to be trained to do anything. " My mother needs help" she kept saying. Her mother was too depressed to get out of bed, as the shame had her paralyzed. She and her sisters started by beading the inside of the journal bookmarks, but now has started a jewelry line. That family has now trained five other women to work with them and have plans to train ten more within the three months. The most exciting part is that an order from Bajalia is making this growth possible." India project manager

“ Bajalia has brought us needed orders which help us employ more workers, and bless them through our work. Orders and profits are like oxygen to us, sustaining our organization so that we can be a light in our community. Their design talents bring fresh ideas into our product line and help us keep up with the latest trends. Their understanding of consumer's needs and wants is valuable to producers that sometimes are too focused on the local community needs and out of touch with US consumers.

Bajalia are real pioneers in social entrepreneurship / kingdom business and have a powerful vision for how to transform communities, one factory at a time.” Leather Factory in China

Drawing upon over 20 years of business, marketing and design experience for major retailers, Debbie Farah and her team begin by understanding the US consumer’s desires and then they work with skilled artisans from among the world’s poorest peoples to bring their products to market. “But there is so much more to do. We have to turn producer groups down weekly as our staff is growing but not at the pace needed, to follow up on the many opportunities coming our way” says Debbie Farah, CEO.

Bajalia is looking for as many sales opportunities this November and December as possible to reach the Million Dollar mark. Support Bajalia’s work through a sale of beautiful products made by beautiful people. Order Corporate Gifts, and help move as much merchandise as possible before 2008 comes to a close by shopping on www.bajalia.com or contacting Loriwanner@bajalia.com to ask about hosting opportunities.

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posted by Justin Forman | 11.11.2008 - 9:02 PM

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