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1901 Centre Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
United States

(412) 228-5160

The Ujamaa Collective is a non-profit organization of women of African descent who are entrepreneurs, artisans, artists and individuals who are committed to serving their community through leadership. Through Ujamaa, artisans will have an economic outlet for their work, micro-enterprises will have the support to grow, customers will gain access to locally-produced items, and Pittsburgh will have a regional destination to draw customers and visitors to the Historic Hill District.

Ujamaa (co)won the Full Circle Pitch Competition for Fall 2017!

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Ujamaa (co)won the Full Circle Pitch Competition for Fall 2017!

LaKeisha Wolf

What a privilege (and challenge) it was to participate in the Social Venture Partners Non-profit Accelerator Program this past fall. The Full Circle Program selects a cohort of organizations twice a year, grants each group a team of professional business coaches and lays out workshops and assignments to help each get to the core of communicating the impact of the work they do.

Ujamaa Collective fully engaged in this opportunity from October through December, taking advantage of this focused time to evaluate our program models, connect to a larger network, and ultimately pitch our work to an expanded community of professions from across the city of Pittsburgh. 

The final pitch event was held at Google headquarters in Bakery Square in mid-December. Director LaKeisha Wolf pulled the audience in and impressed the judges enough that they couldn't pick a sure winner so split the grand prize of $1000 with non-profit Prototype Pgh, the feminist maker space located in Oakland. It was an honor to share the title of winner with the ladies of Prototype, not only because we respect the work they do, but also because we had already began defining ways of partnership for 2018! Co-founders Erin and Louise had already assisted us with a 3D printing activity we offered in our boutique at our annual Black Friday event in November.

Ultimately, our Full Circle experience gave us the final push to move forward with making some important changes that will increase Ujamaa Collective's impact in our community...and we're so glad for it!