There's a new market in town, one that aims to help immigrant and refugee women develop their business acumen while some money.
Burnaby resident Lubna Abdelrahman started the community market, which runs the last Saturday of each month in the gym at Edmonds Community School.
"Most of my clients who book the tables are newcomers," she said. "We try to empower them."
Abdelrahman is hoping to give women who are new to Canada a hand up through the market. People can rent tables for $25 to $35, but new vendors get a break on the fee. As part of the vendor experience, Abdelrahman offers women basic business training, including how to handle cash flows, lines of credit and taxes.
Saturday March 31 is the second market session, and Abdelrahman said there will be all kinds of items for sale: African dresses, Islamic clothes, jewelry, traditional ethnic food, perfumes and handcrafted items.
"The idea for us is not the money," she said. "It's how they can exist in the market. I want to prepare them for the farmers' market."
Abdelrahman holds herself up as an example. The local resident came to Canada in 2004 from Sudan. She sells Sudanese products around the Lower Mainland and online.
"I need them to see: If there are other women doing it, you can do it. Even if you do not speak English, you can do something to improve your life in Canada," she said.
To get involved, call Abdelrahman at 778-919-1208. Visit www.bitmakalyweo.blogspot.ca for more information.