Adan Abdille, a creative 21-year-old refugee, arrived in Worcester in 2009. He soon realized that there was a demand for specialized meats such as camel and goat common back home in Somalia. By January 2010, Adan had opened Tawakal, a unique grocery store which offers native food and clothing to the growing Somali community in Worcester. In 2011, Adan received a $10,000 loan from the Microenterprise Development Program to expand his business, which now caters to other African nationals who had been traveling to Boston to purchase uniquely African grocery items. He now employs several Somalis and his business is thriving!

Kwami Alexandre Kwawu - With roots in Western Africa, Mr. Kwawu brought to the U.S. the dual strengths of a solid education in France, and several years of business experience in Germany. Once in the U.S., Kwawu began the process of requesting asylum and then found himself a widower. Responsible for raising 5 children on his own, Mr. Kwawu worked full-time for a well known store chain where LSS had placed him into employment many years ago. Over the years, Kwawu rose to the position of assistant manager at the well known store chain but due to some unfortunate circumstances at work and unfair treatment, Mr. Kwawu had to resign his position as assistant manager and move on.

Simultaneously he established his first small business in the cleaning business with loans/assistance from ACCION USA. This cleaning business is now a family affair, providing employment for his eldest son. Mr. Kwawu’s eldest daughter, an outstanding student who will graduate next year from Springfield Central H.S., plans to apply to several of the best universities in the northeast.

Since February, LSS has provided Mr. Kwawu with technical assistance in support of his existing small business, and taking him through the steps for building a new business venture (Elegance’s) in importing jewelry from France and exporting cosmetic products from the U.S to Western African countries such as Senegal, Ghana, Togo, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Guinea, Lagos, etc…

LSS loaned $1,000 to Mr. Kwawu to help strengthen and establish new trading partners in France, Western Africa and the United States.