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MINNEAPOLIS - There's constantly new businesses popping up around the Twin Cities but one business is breaking barriers along the way. "The Sisterhood Boutique" is run by a group of Somali women looking to make a difference.

At 17, managing a boutique wasn't part of Khadra Fiqi's plan.

"I was really nervous because I thought of myself as a science person and never thought of myself as a business person," she said. "I wanted to be in the medical field or something that has to do with science because I am really curious about science."

But Fiqi is learning the only constant is change. She's among a group of 14- 23 year-old's who created The Sisterhood Boutique on the 2200 Block of Riverside. All the young females live in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood and participate in the Brian Coyle Center Youth Entrepreneurship Program. But there is more to their business venture selling clothe. It is also about building better relationships.

"We wanted to bring the girls and the youth together to their energy positivity and not what people usually hear about our community which is kind of a negative vibe," she said. "We wanted to change that.

The store they opened in February is already expanding, thanks to donated space from Fairview Health Services. Rulon Stacey, President of the Fairview Health System, said the young girls presented him a business plan he couldn't turn down. The girls drafted the plan with the help of staff at Augsburg College.

"Coming to a business leader and saying, 'Can we use your space?' and presenting to me this plan about why they should use our space and what business it was, it was very impressive," he said. "Way ahead of where I was when I was 14."

The boutique specializes in gently-used clothing and accessories. Prices range from $1 to $15.

And while managing this store wasn't part of Fiqi's plan she said it is paying off.

"It has been really rewarding," she said. "We have learn a lot about business and community engagement."

The store is open Monday – Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Saturday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. To learn more visit https://www.facebook.com/SisterhoodBoutique

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