MILWAUKEE—In Milwaukee, the Ministry of Trade and Commerce hosted its first Black Business Bizarre called “Unity Market #3.” Sister Roshundra Muhammad, who was one of the organizers, said, “The Unity Market #3 was established to nurture, network and promote Black-owned businesses and organizations from the Milwaukee Metropolitan area and abroad and to be a bridge that connects our community to Muhammad’s Mosque No. 3.”
This weekend did just that. The unity marked was held January 21-22 and over a dozen Black vendors from all backgrounds packed Muhammad Mosque No. 3 selling their handmade crafts, body care products, food, books and more. Vendors were given a chance to speak to the audience about their business and what they would like the future of their enterprise to look like.
“Our aim is to solve many of the issues small business owners face when trying to grow their companies,” Sister Brittany Muhammad said. “We created a platform for massive and consistent exposure for the business and for potential customers who seek to patronize Black businesses,” she added.
Vendors took to social media to invite their customer base out to shop, as well as to thank the Ministry of Trade and Commerce for providing an accessible space to grow their businesses. King Kamonzi, who owns Red Hidrant, a health drink and herbal company, said, “The Unity Market at Mosque #3 was a great event!
Supporting Black business and letting the dollar recirculate in your community is a vital part of our economic growth! Salute to the Nation of Islam and [Student Minister] William Muhammad for the unconditional support of the Black community.”
The Ministry of Trade and Commerce plans to host the Unity Market every third weekend of the month. Current vendors as well as new ones have already expressed interest in the next market due to the success of the first weekend. Organizers Sister Brittany Muhammad and Sister Roshundra Muhammad are also creating an online directory of Black Businesses in the Milwaukee Metropolitan area.
The directory in combination with social media and the market events are all designed to work together to build and promote Black business commerce in the area which is hoped to lead to sustainable income for the business owners.
When asked for his thoughts on the event, Student Secretary Andar Muhammad said, “It’s bigger than me. It’s bigger than being a Student Laborer. It’s what the work of the Nine Ministries is for. The believers are expressing themselves in ways I can’t think of all by myself and it’s a breath of fresh life.
“Our local mosque also sold more bean pies and books. The circulation of our dollars using the mosque as a base of operation is certainly a welcomed relief for me. All praise is due to Allah!”—Story and photos by Crystal Muhammad