In my mind, this is the “Think Globally, Act Locally” principle of Kwanzaa.  It ties in with the gift-giving aspect of this celebration.  To me, it builds even more community by encouraging us to directly support small businesses and entrepreneurs.  It’s an opportunity to explore the creativity and innovation of people around the corner or around the world.

One of my favorite online shops is Bead For Life, a fair trade jewelry shop that directly benefits women and girls in Uganda who make the beads and sell them around the world.  It is a relatively inexpensive way to spread beauty inside and out.

I also advise using Pandora or Spotify to listen to your favorite independent bands.  My band Brave New Girl is on there, and these services are fairer to independent artists than a lot of the other services.  Check out the Fresh Cut Soul station for some of my faves.

Etsy is another way to discover entrepreneurs.  I just found this lovely kinara ornament, for instance.  There are all kinds of local makers waiting for you to help them grow.

Tonight I’m happy to be heading out for Ethiopian food with family and friends at a NYC eatery called Awash.  They have three locations around the city.  Each of them is delicious.

Look around your neighborhood.  Purchase the CD produced by the awesome family band on the corner.  Buy the print from the graffiti artist in front of the museum.  Drop a dollar into the hat in front of the dance troupe near the pier.  File your taxes with a local Enrolled Agent instead of using H & R Block.  Focus your earnings on your community.  We help each other grow.

Ujamaa – Cooperative Economics