Najeebah Shareef's life changed after an encounter with a homeless man, the conversation leading to a company that helped veterans and others in need, get transportation around the city called inspiring lives forever transportation.
“Within 6 months, I got my first contract. I started out of the basement of my home within that time.”
The business that started in her basement has now grown into its current location on St. Clair in Cleveland's Collinwood area - including a call center, and a garage to store her fleet. But it didn't come easy: Najeebah got a jump start by working with the director of the women’s business center of Northern Ohio.
“I told her my story and I told her what I was looking for,” she said. “The main thing was a building where I could grow. We are one of 120 centers across the country.”
The woman's business center works with several agencies to make it easier for women to get their business moving forward.
"It's to help women start business, grow businesses, and access capital," Jan Conrad of the business center said.
And capital is what Najeebah needed most - to get her transportation company out of her basement. That capital mixed with passion made it all work.
“Every time I connected her with anyone, she followed up immediately,” Conrad said. “That's really what makes her story so successful.”
“Working with Jan and the women's business center and all the women I do business with has been a straight blessing,” Najeebah said.