17 Graduated from St. Cloud-based business academy

SMALL DROPS (WJON News) — The Initiative Foundation, Central Minnesota Community Empowerment Organization (CMCEO), and Higher Works Collaborative celebrated the graduation of 17 new entrepreneurs dedicated to building their local business ideas in the Greater St. Cloud area.

St. Cloud entrepreneurs recently completed the Enterprise Academy, an Initiative Foundation business-building program that includes a 12-week training program with free, ongoing business coaching as well as access to flexible loans and other capital.

The entrepreneurs join nine other cohorts of St. Cloud graduates, now representing nearly 80 current and future St. Cloud area business owners who have completed the Enterprise Academy program.

Caption: Members of Enterprise Academy’s fall 2022 cohort include (back row, left to right): TauNita Jones; Farhiyo Idifle; Abdi Daisane, coach; Morgan Tate; and Lea Beack. Second row: Tombong Suware and Toni Rakke. Front row: Arnise Balle and Nick Workman.

Caption: Members of Enterprise Academy’s fall 2022 cohort include (back row, left to right): TauNita Jones; Farhiyo Idifle; Abdi Daisane, coach; Morgan Tate; and Lea Beack. Second row: Tombong Suware and Toni Rakke. Front row: Arnise Balle and Nick Workman.

St. Cloud’s fall 2022 graduates include:

Hassan Haji Ali: Hassan has owned his long-haul trucking company, Zee Transport, LLC, for almost three years. He hopes to expand his business by hiring drivers and buying equipment.

Omar Ali: Omar plans to expand his trucking business, Eagle Carrier, and believes the new management tips he’s learned will help him as he grows. In the past, Omar worked in a warehouse and drove a taxi.

Arnise Balle: Arnise joined Enterprise Academy to network and develop his business skills. She currently owns Joy’Full Place Catering and hopes to expand into a bed and breakfast and food truck. Arnise currently works for Stearns County Social Services.

Lea Beack: Leah owns Emotion in Motion, a mobile splatter paint room experience. She showcased her business at the Benton County Fair and various community events in 2022. Leah hopes to sell this concept on Amazon and aspires to hire employees to work at events. She is an active volunteer and currently works with Too Much Talent, a non-profit organization in St. Cloud.

Maurice Bursson: Maurice owns Barber Hussle, a St. Cloud-based hair salon, and also does government contracts. His goal is to create an accredited barber school and help those who are “left behind”. Maurice is preparing his Masters in Business Administration at St. Cloud State University.

Idifle’s fingers: Farhiyo recognizes the shortage of mental health professionals in Minnesota, especially those who specialize in working with African immigrants. She built her business, CAREMAX, to meet the need for these services. A registered social worker, she dreams of giving back to the community and helping people with mental health issues.

Sahel Mohammad: Sahal is a truck driver and would like to use his Enterprise Academy learnings to start his own trucking business, buy equipment and hire employees.

Otis Morris: Otis wants to get into real estate so he can develop affordable housing to help those facing housing challenges. He participated in the Enterprise Academy to learn, develop and acquire skills in entrepreneurship. Otis is currently the Dean of Students at North Junior High School.

Caption: Members of Enterprise Academy’s fall 2022 cohort include (back row, left to right): Otis Morris; Omar Ali; Amran Yusuf, coach; and Darold Robinson. Second row: Hassan Haji Ali; Sahal Mohamed; Fathia Said and Maurice Burson. Front row: Mustafa Yusuf and Mark Ojulu. Not shown; Zachary Omar.

Caption: Members of Enterprise Academy’s fall 2022 cohort include (back row, left to right): Otis Morris; Omar Ali; Amran Yusuf, coach; and Darold Robinson. Second row: Hassan Haji Ali; Sahal Mohamed; Fathia Said and Maurice Burson. Front row: Mustafa Yusuf and Mark Ojulu. Not shown; Zachary Omar.

Mark Ojulu: Mark is a truck driver and plans to use what he learned at Enterprise Academy to start a successful trucking business. Mark has worked as a machine operator and freight forwarder.

Zacharie Omar: Zacharia works in a group home and would like to use what he learned from Enterprise Academy to start his own group home. His dream is to own multiple homes across Minnesota. Zacharia is currently studying accounting at St. Cloud Technical and Community College.

Tony Rake: Toni started Every BODY Wellness to help people get physically, mentally and spiritually fit. She is a registered nurse and currently works in a dialysis clinic. Her dream is to open an accessible wellness center.

Darold Robinson: Darold recently started a lawn care and snow removal business, ATR Lawn Services. Darold currently works as a lead grinder in a meat factory.

Fatya said: Fathia plans to launch Dajiya Home Care. Her goal is to open two home care centers by 2025. Fathia is excited to use the business skills she learned through the Enterprise Academy to launch her business. She currently works for the St. Cloud School District.

Tombong Suware: Tombong would like to apply his knowledge from Enterprise Academy to open a grocery store. He currently holds the position of production supervisor.

Morgan Tate: Morgan opened her business, Advancing Together, in April 2022. She provides home and community services to people facing homelessness. His work is covered by Medicaid and falls under the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Morgan is also a certified doula.

Nick Workman: Nick aspires to start a restaurant business and expand into grocery stores. In the meantime, he is looking for a commercial premises.

Mustafa Yusuf: Mustafa works as a contract driver. His aspiration is to start his own trucking business. Mustafa previously worked as a contract interpreter.

READ MORE: See 50 remote jobs that can pay well

Leave a Reply