WomenVenture lending and business consulting client Farhiyo S. Elmi recently started Qstar Logistics, a woman-owned hauling and logistics corporation breaking into the male-dominated industry of general freight trucking.
Here is her experience with WomenVenture, and her path to entrepreneurship, in her own words:
Q: Can you tell us about your background and how you became interested in the trucking industry?
A: I am originally from Somalia and emigrated to the United States after 13 years in South Africa. My background was in business, but I had many friends and family members who were working in the trucking industry. I started researching trucking to assist my ex-husband with his freight business and got hooked!
I did not have any transportation experience and YouTube became my educator. I learned to sift through the information to get what I needed to learn about the transportation industry. My friends and family still think I’m crazy for getting into trucking but it’s my life now and I’m in it for the long haul!
Q: How did WomenVenture’s lending and business consulting program help you on your entrepreneurial journey?
A: WomenVenture made this happen for me. Without the loan and support from your team, there would be no truck and no Qstar Logistics. When I first applied, I did not expect much but knew I needed to secure a truck and equipment. After talking with your team, all hopes went high, and boy, did you guys deliver. This is not just a loan; it is a push toward success, and I will repay it not only with money but with gratitude.
“I know WomenVenture will continue to be the financer of Qstar’s growth, my mentor, and partner on this journey for years to come.”
Q: What’s the future look like for Qstar Laogistics?
A: Qstar is a company at the beginning of its growth journey in a male-dominated industry, an industry I love being a part of. I know I have the potential to create jobs and contribute to the economy of Minnesota. I want WomenVenture’s supporters to know that Qstar`s sole purpose is to create an entire fleet driven by women owner-operators!
Author: Jess Jellings, WomenVenture Communications & Marketing Manager