Somali Women drive success of Somali malls in Minneapolis


Bulbulo Mohamud lifted a piece of malawax (similar to a pancake) for a customer at her cafe. ( Photo Credit- Star Tribune)

It’s not a secret that Somalis have an entrepreneurial culture that follows them everywhere. According to a Star Tribune report, Somali women are the driving force behind most of the shops in the Somali populated shops in Minneapolis like Karmel Square.

The owner, Basim Sabri, who bought the building 15 years ago first allowed a Somali man to put a coffee shop there but the place has since become the largest Somali mall in the States. Because of the Islamic restrictions on earning or paying interest, Somalis always find other ways to finance their entrepreneurship energy.

“In my opinion, they’re the smartest businesspeople in Africa, probably the smartest in the Middle East,” Sabri said. “Women play a big role in Somali business doing.”


Ubah Diriye creates her own clothing designs that aim to blend modesty and fashion and has them manufactured in China. “I’m after the American dream,” she says. ( Photo credit- Star Ttribune)

state demographers estimate 39,000 Somalis in Minnesota in 2013 but many feel that figure is low. Somalis are among immigrants who are trying to make a better life in the State and are surely are doing so, business wise at least. 

Article is paraphrased and first appeared on Star Tribune. To read more, Click Here. 

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