“Growing up, I learned that people would talk to me about either of three things when they found out I was Somali: it’s either famine, pirates, or civil war. It’s always the same words coming back.

My father raised my brother, sister and me to think of Somalia in a positive light. But I had never been to Somalia and I grew up in Luxembourg where there was no Somali community. When I went to London for the first time, I encountered many young, purposeful Somali women and men who were also working on changing our narrative and how Somalia and its diaspora are portrayed in the media.

Before I knew it, I was putting up a trade show to feature established Somali entrepreneurs who were not older than 30. My initial concern was people’s feedback and if anyone would be interested—they were! We had to turn people away! After the show, I was thrilled to find out that several of the featured entrepreneurs ended up with new partnerships, new products, or a new company.

I was not done. The next year, I put up my second trade show to follow up on the success of the first one. These events are my attempt to make sense of my identity. By highlighting this Somali generation that is young, dynamic, successful, and making a difference all around the world, I come out with a better understanding who I am and who my people are. We are the new generation of Somalia and we have a different story to tell.”

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In this series powered by Mailchimp, we reimagine a narrative that celebrates immigrant women as innovators, successful entrepreneurs, job creators, and industry disruptors.

NextDayBetter Storyteller: Candice Quimpo