Restaurant owner Abdirahman Kahin, after being named Minnesota’s Small Business Person of the Year last month, told Mshale in an interview “I am looking forward to competing at the national level and win it all.” He did exactly that today after SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, announced him as the national winner at the annual National Small Business Week which started yesterday and will conclude on May 6.
Mr. Kahin and winners from each state were in Washington, D.C. for the awards ceremony as well as an address by President Biden today.
“Abdirahman has pursued the American dream of business ownership — overcoming challenges, launching multiple food businesses, pivoting during COVID, and lifting local neighborhoods along the way. He combines great ideas with hard work and diligence, and we are honored that SBA has been a part of his successful and ongoing journey,” said Administrator Guzman.
Ms. Guzman went on to say that Mr. Kahin “reflects the best of American entrepreneurship.”
Mr. Kahin who immigrated to the United States as a student in 1996 first ventured into the media production business after attending community college, before turning to the restaurant business.
He opened the first Afro Deli and Grill location in Minneapolis in 2010 and has since expanded to four locations in both Minneapolis and St. Paul. He has his eyes on a nationwide expansion that will make it the first national African restaurant chain in the United States.
His win places him in elite company. Previous winners of the prestigious award which “recognizes entrepreneurs who demonstrate exceptional leadership and create sustainable, thriving businesses in their communities” have included Hamdi Ulukaya, the founder of Chobani yogurt as well as Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the founders of the famous Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.