Blooming Ladies Co-operative
Empowering women entrepreneurs through collective orghanizing*
Blooming Ladies Inc. was started by Wunmi Akinlosotu, a woman passionate about supporting other women entrepreneurs. Her dream had long been to work as an entrepreneur while also meeting a social good, which she was doing. She had developed a business that helps women on their path to being and succeeding as an entrepreneur through networking events, and mentoring and coaching opportunities. It was a successful business, but Wunmi saw the potential for so much more. She wanted the business to be bigger than herself. She saw an opportunity to grow the business not just in terms of business streams, operations, countries, and revenues, but also for more women entrepreneurs to have a voice in the decision-making, to participate in the economic benefits, to share in the development, and to help grow the business to regions beyond what she could do alone. She thus embraced the potential and strength of collective organizing and knew there were others who wanted to join her. Taken by this vision, Blooming Ladies Inc. expanded to include Blooming Ladies Multistakeholder Co-operative.
Blooming Ladies is occupying the social enterprise space as a co-operative business. Despite the challenges it has had to face along the way, the co-op has set out to establish a viable, longterm and profitable business. Co-operatives should be made attractive to entrepreneurs, according the Blooming Ladies. Today, the members of Blooming Ladies Co-op are trailblazing the model of the social enterprise co-op, selling goods and services while also meeting social goals.
*Case study research and writing by Fiona Duguid (2021)