Success of Small Businesses Owned by African Immigrants and Refugees Celebrated

African-owned small businesses’ economic contributions are growing. The African Development Center of Minnesota (ADC) celebrated the recipients of its 2016 Business Awards on September 27. ADC’s five winners showcase the business success of African immigrants and refugees throughout Minnesota. ADC is a leader in micro-lending to entrepreneurs and growing small business. ADC’s work in financial literacy, business development and homeownership counselling focuses on Minnesota’s African community, providing services in 6 languages to communities throughout Minnesota. ADC Executive Director, Nasibu Sareva, expects to double recent loan volume in 2016 stating that in just 8 months ADC approved “$700,000 in loans to small businesses approved, 20% of which are in greater Minnesota in St. Cloud and Willmar.

Keynoter Commissioner Shawntera Hardy of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development told the sold out crowd that these awards help to promote “stories that put a human face on the economic contributions that Africans, African-American and other people of color are making each and every day in Minnesota.” She reminded the audience that “Of the 17 Fortune 500 based in Minnesota, some of state’s oldest and most respected companies, six were founded by immigrants or their children. So don’t’ let anyone tell you that immigrants are a drain on the economy they are part of that engine that is keeping it going.”

The 2016 awardees represent the range of ADC business clients:

  • ADC Small Business of the Year – KATAR RIVER RESTAURANT AND BAKERY, LLC, Minneapolis.
    • Began in 2007 as a business idea in an ADC class, this woman-owned business has a restaurant and now provides wholesale ethnic foods and breads to grocery stores all over Minnesota that cater to African tastes.
  • ADC Employer of the Year – FAMILY CARE TRANSPORTATION, LLC, Minneapolis
    • Started in 2006, this business now has more than 12 employees and more than 250 drivers providing non-emergency medical transportation in St. Anthony, St. Cloud, Faribault, Mankato and Willmar.
  • ADC Young Entrepreneur(s) of the Year – AMIN GROCERY, LLC, Willmar
    • This convenience store serving the growing African community in Willmar is owned by a 25-year-old entrepreneur.
  • ADC Young Entrepreneur(s) of the Year – LIZ VISION BEAUTY SUPPLY, LLC, Champlin
    • A start-up retail venture of a 25-year-old couple this business targets a growing African population in northern Twin Cities suburbs providing hard-to-find products, and braiding and weaving services.
  • 2016 ADC Staff Pick – ULTIMATE HEALTHCARE INC., Minneapolis
    • In 2012 a former ADC loan officer and community organizer started a business to provide Personal Care services to the elderly and disabled. With more than $3 million in revenues and 250 clients statewide – this service provider works with a variety of healthcare providers such as BlueCross BlueShield and offers language and culturally proficient care professionals to a diverse clientele bridging the African-American, Caucasian, Hispanic and African communities.

Commemorating ADC’s founder and former Executive Director, Hussein Samatar, who lost his battle with Leukemia at age 45 in 2013, we recognize an organization without whose support, the African business community would be hampered.

  • Hussein Samatar Community Service Award – LEGALCorps, Minneapolis
    • A non-profit legal services corporation providing clinics and pro bono support to businesses and non-profits inMinnesota.

The 2016 ADC Business Awards are sponsored by USBank, CenterPoint Energy, WellsFargo, Augsburg College, BMO Harris Bank, Western Bank and MEDA (Metropolitan Economic Development Association).

SOURCE African Development Center of Minnesota

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