AP NEWS

Fargo woman helps other immigrants pursue the American dream

February 4, 2019

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A woman who came to the U.S. in 1997 as a refugee from East Africa has started a center in Fargo to help other immigrants launch their businesses by guiding them through the process of writing a business plan and acquiring loans.

Fowzia Adde created the Immigration Development Center to help people who have settled in the U.S. gain their economic footing and to bring more diverse products and services to the Fargo-Moorhead area, KVRR-TV reported.

“I was working in a production line and always we talked about, we always get our stuff in Minneapolis, we drive four hours for food, spices, clothing, so we thought about having those businesses here,” Adde said.

Haytham Al Saegh, F-M International Foods owner, now belongs to that group of local businesses. He and his family moved to the U.S. in 2009 after emigrating from Iraq via Lebanon. F-M International Foods aims to provide its customers with a small taste of home by selling products from all over the world.

“We tried to add in our old home feel to it, that’s why we get a lot of Iraqi food, a lot of Lebanese food as well. A lot of people have been really thankful for it because it reminds them of their childhood or it reminds them of a simpler time before moving and having all these challenges in their life,” Ali, Haytham’s son, said.

Al Saegh encourages immigrants looking to start their own businesses to be inquisitive and actively find resources to help them.

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Information from: KVRR-TV, http://kftv.com