By Christie Denson
SCORE Twin Cities Chapter is excited to announce a new partnership with Minnesota Africans United (MAU) that will focus on supporting the African immigrant community with their ambitions to start and own businesses and to improve trade between Minnesota and African countries.
Rich Hamer is the SCORE Twin Cities Chapter lead on this initiative. “SCORE Twin Cities is working with MAU to discuss and advise on how SCORE's resources and mentors can fit into MAU's programs, as well as other organizational development areas,” says Hamer. “In addition to mentoring, MAU has identified candidates with business experience to volunteer as SCORE mentors specializing in serving the African immigrant community.
Basil Ajuo, CEO of Minnesota Africans United says as MAU continues to grow and expand to help more Africans in Minnesota to be independent contributing members of Minnesota economic prosperity, the partnership with SCORE Twin Cities Chapter is fundamental to their growth.
“Building a stronger economy where no one is left behind, the resources that have been introduced by SCORE to help African immigrants with the ambition to start and own a business through SCORE's mentorship is something that our African businesses have been wanting for such a very long time,” Ajuo says.
On May 22, MAU and SCORE Twin Cities held a business development and entrepreneurialism webinar highlighting the work of MAU as it supports the immigrant African American small business community. The workshop included representatives from MAU, SCORE, Bremer Bank, Federal Reserve Bank, SBA, and Women Ventures, with several small business owners as keynote, panel moderators, and panelists. The webinar was attended by 90 persons with as many or more interested in reviewing the recording.
MAU plans to hold a follow-up free course consisting of five to six SCORE webinar recordings that will be offered to persons from the MAU community including those who attended the May webinar or watched the webinar's recording. The course sessions will include a "watch party" to view each webinar session together, followed by a discussion.
“The post-watch discussion is key to overcoming communication, language, and cultural obstacles, “ Hamer adds. “Linking up mentors and mentees for individualized work will be encouraged throughout the course.”
Ajuo says that the MAU partnership with SCORE has increased participation in their Business programs.
“We will continue to make sure that we look out to help connect these small business owners to more access to capital, networking resources, banks and other economic resources in the community after our training sessions,” Ajuo adds. “This would lift many African families to the middle class and give them the opportunity to compete in our economic society.”
Minnesota Africans United (MAU) is serving as the coalition of African immigrants in Minnesota that is centered on closing the opportunity gaps in education, healthcare, the economy, and employment, with the mission of creating awareness and increasing access to resources for African communities. Visit Minnesota Africans United at mnafricansunited.org and follow @MNAfricansUnited on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Since 1964, SCORE has helped 11 million entrepreneurs to start or grow a business. SCORE's 10,000 volunteers provide free mentoring, workshops and educational services to 1,500+ communities nationwide, creating 29,681 new businesses and 67,706 non-owner jobs in 2019 alone. Visit SCORE at www.score.org. Follow @SCOREMentors on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.