Redefine Your Business Through Our Programs

Supporting Entrepreneurship Within the African Community

Redefine Your Business Through Our Programs

Supporting Entrepreneurship Within the African Community

In 2020, we served:

578 businesses through:

  • $3.7M Grants
  • $1.07M Loans
  • Total $4.8M
  • We served 1,400 clients through our programs.
  • Provided 7,820 hours of technical assistance.

Demographic breakdown of clients we served:

  • 45% Women
  • 50% Male
  • 5% Other

Helping African Immigrants Develop Their Business

AEDS in Saint Paul, Minnesota take pride in being a certified lending organization. We use art and culture as a catalyst of strategy to help African immigrants in our community.

Programs and Projects

Annual National African Immigrant Leadership Conference

We are proud to host our second annual National African Immigrant Leadership Conference on December 9th & 10th, 2021. During this time of uncertainty and trauma, African immigrants are facing some of the biggest challenges. COVID-19 is damaging our small business sectors. There have been uprisings across the country because of George Floyd’s and other innocent black lives’ murder. These continue to be a catalyst for strife.

AEDS

Workforce Development Program (WFDP)

This program is designed to support the success of businesses through excellent workforce development services. Our Workforce Development Program also helps people of color in the metro and surrounding cities to gain rightful employment through recruitment, training, and job placement.

Let Us Rebuild African Immigrant Businesses in Minnesota

As small businesses were gearing up to reopen after being devastated by COVID-19 and already struggling amid the pandemic-induced shutdown, they were faced with yet another challenge—the murder of George Floyd. They are now left to pick up the pieces of their dreams and businesses, while also mourning with the community.

In response, AEDS has created the Business Relief Fund to meet these needs of local African immigrant businesses. It is a forgivable loan to keep small businesses open and continue contributing to the community.

Being an entrepreneur is never easy. Keeping a business alive as an African immigrant during these times requires hard work and your help. Your support will help these businesses grappling with the loss of jobs, services, and investments more than ever. It will also make an essential difference for families and local jobs.

image-6

Little Africa Tour Showcases Local Artists and African Immigrant-Owned Businesses

During the tour, attendees traveled along Snelling Avenue, where they visited the following:

  • Addis Mini Market
  • African Plaza
  • Dahabshiil Mini Market
  • Fasika Ethiopian Restaurant
  • Sabrina’s Café
  • Snelling Café
  • Sunshine Beauty Salon

At each location, the group had an opportunity to meet with the business owners and learn the unique stories of the places. The tour ended at Snelling Café with a pop-up art gallery featuring the works of visual artists Geno Okok, Sara Endalew, and Binyam Raba. It also included the documentary street photography of Netsanet Negussie, as well as the eccentric and bold handbags of fashion designer Ngeri Nnachi.

Little Africa Tour Showcases Local Artists and African-Owned Businesses

During the tour, attendees traveled along Snelling Avenue, where they visited the following:

  • Addis Mini Market
  • African Plaza
  • Dahabshiil Mini Market
  • Fasika Ethiopian Restaurant
  • Sabrina’s Café
  • Snelling Café
  • Sunshine Beauty Salon

At each location, the group had an opportunity to meet with the business owners and learn the unique stories of the places. The tour ended at Snelling Café with a pop-up art gallery featuring the works of visual artists Geno Okok, Sara Endalew, and Binyam Raba. It also included the documentary street photography of Netsanet Negussie, as well as the eccentric and bold handbags of fashion designer Ngeri Nnachi.

Opening Up the Doors: Why Creating a Welcoming Little Africa Community Takes Time

On February 9, we launched our first series of community workshops to implement a facade improvement project for small businesses within Little Africa. This program was organized by us and the Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation. It is funded in part by the Knight Green Line Challenge award and seeks to build community engagement, while improving the exterior of Little Africa businesses. The second facade improvement workshop in this series took place on April 5, 2016.

AEDS
Phone_01

African Women Entrepreneurs and Artist Networking Event

Little Africa celebrated International Women’s day by hosting the second event in our art series. On March 8, Little Africa organized the African Women Entrepreneurs and Artist Networking event. It comprised of various guest speakers, a performance by Ifrah Mansour, storytelling circles, and a panel discussion featuring Little Africa Women artists and entrepreneurs.

Homeownership Workshops

We have partnered with the Minnesota Home Ownership Center to provide home stretch workshops. This aims to prepare homebuyers to be successful homeowners. Our organization offers homeownership workshops throughout the year, which are open to all homebuyers in Minnesota.

June Is Homeownership Month!

Did you know that June is National Homeownership Month? We are celebrating by offering a free Home Stretch class on June 12th! Home Stretch is an eight-hour homebuyer workshop that covers all of the essential steps, which buyers should take in order to realize their dream of homeownership. Sign up today and prepare yourself to be a successful homeowner.

 
AEDS

Contact Us

Reach out to our team for more details about how we can help you. We look forward to hearing from you!