African Development Center of Minnesota as a Case Study of Economic Empowerment and Success of African Immigrants

By: Nasibu Sareva  

The African Development Center (ADC) was started in 2004 by and for African immigrant refugees. ADC's mission is to grow businesses, build wealth, and increase reinvestment in the African communities of MN. Through a comprehensive set of services in financial literacy, business development, and home ownership, ADC provides culturally competent resources to Minnesota’s growing African community. ADC is recognized in our marketplace for our central role in providing effective and culturally-competent support services for emerging African-born entrepreneurs. We have developed loan products and services specifically tailored to meet their needs, and a long and successful history of implementation. Our products and services have resulted in family-supporting incomes for African-headed households, and major redevelopment in immigrant neighborhoods. A report from the Migration Policy Institute found lack of access to capital for immigrants to be widespread. Despite business formation rates exceeding such rates for native-born Americans, immigrant entrepreneurs in many countries including the U.S. faced “credit constraints that tend to be greater for immigrants than for the native born. Reasons cited included lack of collateral such as home ownership, language difficulties, and the challenge of navigating complex bureaucratic regulations and procedures. Barriers such as language, culture, religion and refugee status certainly inhibit economic integration for our constituents. Financing options such as personal savings, credit cards and “family & friends” that may be available to native born entrepreneurs are much less likely to be a source of capital. Many African immigrants would have difficulty entering the economic mainstream without ADC’s culturally specific support.

Education and Learning in a World of Difference
Innovation Case Studies

Mr. Nasibu Sareva

Executive Directot, African Development Center, United States
United States