Wishwas was founded in 2010 as a response toÂ a growing number of immigrant women in Queens who lacked access toÂ capital and sustainable work. Â It was in the midst of the economicÂ recession that many women became increasingly isolated andÂ vulnerable with no safety net or insurance. Â Some had never opened aÂ bank account and many HGH were left out of all financial decisions made withinÂ their families and communities. Â
Starting with donated space from theÂ Kew Gardens Community Center, Wishwas started organizing weeklyÂ meetings, where women could practice their communication skills, engageÂ in skill-based training and develop relationships with each other.Â The idea of cooperatives emerged as a self-sustaining alternative forÂ women to gain control of their livelihoods.