ROCHESTER, Minn., October 16, 2016 – Somalia Rebuild Organization (SRO) hosted the Southeast Somali Small Business Training in partnership with the Prosperity Initiative, a program of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF). The day-long training aimed to increase business knowledge among the numerous Somali-owned small businesses located in Rochester and the surrounding area. More than 40 small business owners attended the event to learn from business leaders, academic instructors and services providers.

Hosted in Somali language, the Somali Small Business Training aimed to promote the advancement of Somali small businesses in order to foster a healthy, thriving businesses ecosystem throughout southern MN. To achieve this goal, SRO brought in Somali trainers, academics with Masters and Ph.D. Degrees and Somali small business owners to discuss leadership strategies, Islamic principles and ways to grow small businesses in southern Minnesota. These presenters included:

Omar Nur, MBA | Executive Director, Somalia Rebuild Organization
Sheikh Abdirahman Sheikh Omar Ahmad, Ph.D. | Chairman, Islamic Association of North America (IANA)
Fanah H. Adam, MS | Educational Leadership Academic Admission Adviso, South Central College – Mankato
Mohamed Muse, MBA | Twin Cities-based Business Consultant
Saido Omar, MS | Female Business Owner, Rochester

Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and SMIF also presented on the resources and services their organizations provide. The Southeast MN SBDC offers at no cost, confidential consulting to help businesses identify, understand and overcome the challenges of starting a business, running a successful business, and developing exit strategies. They provide the professional expertise and guidance every small business owner needs to flourish in today’s competitive and ever-changing business world. Find out more at:

The Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation strives to catalyze entrepreneurial activity within the region and plays a strong role in growing local business by supporting entrepreneurship. To do this, SMIF provides early-stage investments, traditional loans, micro loans, technical assistance, mentoring, grants to non-profit organizations and opportunities for networking and regional leadership development. Find out more about SMIF’s economic development work here:

In addition, SMIF launched the Prosperity Initiative in 2015 to address the growing needs of minority entrepreneurs throughout the region. Through this new initiative, SMIF is been able to offering training and coaching to minority-owned businesses as well as numerous training opportunities, such as the Somali Small Business Training. To learn more about the Prosperity Initiative visit: