Jaam (meaning peace in Wolof, Soninke and Fulani tradition) Café is a socially conscious, environmentally friendly and locally owned and managed Café located in the Senegambia region of West-Africa. Jaam Café produces local and healthy food and drinks that celebrate and preserve Senegambian cuisine and traditions. We seek to create a space that nurtures creativity, fosters youth engagement, and encourages Afrocentric cultures. Given our social corporate responsibility, we will donate 5% of our profits to advance social justice causes within our community.
Jaam has Four Main Pillars:
1. We Value Local. We will engage local farmers and food processors in the region for the production of the beverages and food that Jaam Café will sell. Jaam Café will be locally operated and managed. It will also function as a venue that will showcase and sell local art and talent.
2. We Prioritize Sustainability. We cherish our planet and all its resources. We will minimize our waste, reuse as much as possible, and recycle as a last resort. We also seek to promote healthy and environmentally conscious culture that is in tune with our resources and culture.
3. We are Run by the Youth and for the Youth. Youth engagement is a core principal of Jaam Café. The Cafe will serve as a space for young people to network and socialize with a creative emphasis, offering open mics, professional networking events, instructional programs (such as French classes), and art shows, among other events and initiatives.
4. We Give Back. Jaam Café focuses on social corporate responsibility in the Senegambian region. All proceeds will go towards development efforts in the region. We will donate 5% of our profits to thoroughly vetted local organizations that are serving the community.
The Women of Jaam:
Aissatou Diagne is interested in creating businesses that address some of Africa’s challenges. She is the founder of Tamaji Group, an investment group that provides capital and resources to entrepreneurs in the region to accelerate their businesses and serve more people. Previously, she has worked as a strategy consultant at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, an international consulting firm focused on the developing world. Aïssatou has also interned with the Council of International Relations working on renewable energy and economic development for the U.S. Department of State, worked with Delta, a waste management company in Senegal, and Fula, a fashion company, doing market research and vendor negotiations. Aïssatou graduated with honors from Tufts University with a degree in International Relations, focusing on development. Prior to college, she studied at the African Leadership Academy, a one of kind African institution with a curriculum in African Studies, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship. Originally from Senegal, Aïssatou has lived and worked in 15+ cities worldwide.
Fatoumata Waggeh was born and raised in the United States to Soninke-speaking immigrants from The Gambia and has been fascinated with African culture and history. She worked as a Civic Organizer at an African immigrants rights organization based in New York City, called African Communities Together (ACT). At ACT, Fatoumata mobilized policy priorities within the city government that addressed the social and economic needs of African immigrants. She has spearheaded college readiness and civic engagement workshops, among other programmings for the West-African immigrant community in New York City.
Fatoumata graduated from New York University (NYU) where she studied African Political Development and Colonial History. During her time at NYU, she produced a TEDx lecture series highlighting how Africa’s underdevelopment is rooted in a colonial legacy. She is a JD Candidate at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Fatoumata aspires to become a public interest lawyer working towards alleviating the systemic inequities facing marginalized communities worldwide.
We Are a Data-Backed Venture!
We have done our due diligence and confirmed what the customer demand is. Based on our research on the ground, over 60% of our customers would be between the ages of 15 to 24 and most are either students or young professionals. Over 50% of all our responders purchase hot beverages and an overwhelming majority, over 70% of all responders want to have access to clean, fairly priced snacks and small bites in a clean, enjoyable, and welcoming atmosphere in the Sene-Gambia neighbourhood. Our proposed events of movie nights, fun classes such as yoga, language, art showings, and networking and professional development events were very well received with a 100% response rate showing interest in any of these events. We are confident that by providing all these resources, along with delicious, locally sourced, and affordable food and beverage options, we will have our finger on the pulse on what Gambians want and need right now. Please join us in realizing this dream!
Risks and challenges
As young female social entrepreneurs of color, we anticipate many challenges in bringing our idea into fruition. After all, we are investing in a territory that has been classified as a high risk area. However, as we mentioned above, we are a data-backed venture. Our market research data support the need and eventual success and sustainability of Jaam. Lastly, our personal contacts, knowledge of the region and prior experiences in non-profit and business will support us in the evolution of Jaam.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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