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Minding Their Own Business

Five Female Leaders from Trinidad and Tobago

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Joanne Kilgour Dowdy

Minding Their Own Business: Five Female Leaders from Trinidad and Tobago is a narrative project that illuminates the historical legacy of entrepreneurship, self-employment, and collective economics within the African diaspora, particularly in the lives of five women leaders of African descent from Trinidad and Tobago, in the Caribbean. By using the financial literacy lens as an analytical tool to interpret these biographies, this book documents the journeys of these independent business women, uncovers the literacy skills they employed, and describes the networking skills that they relied upon personally and professionally. The qualitative data collection methods utilized in this project help to identify lessons that will inform professionals, educators, and business and lay persons about the innovative ways in which teaching and learning take place outside of “formal” business schooling. Information gleaned from this study also serves to broaden traditional understandings of entrepreneurship and economic strategies inherited from majority African descended communities. Additionally, this book illuminates the creative and intellectual modes of learning within the Afrocentric communities that foster successful business practices. Finally, these five successful women pass on to interested learners their methods of modeling, encouraging, and celebrating the means by which independent business people make a positive impact on society.

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