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SBA and Somali Community Association of Ohio Enter New Partnership

Strategic Alliance Affirms SBA’s Commitment to Ohio’s Somali Population
Release Date: 
Monday, April 5, 2021
Release Number: 

COLUMBUS--The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Central and Southern Ohio District Office and the ​Somali Community Association of Ohio (SCAO) today formalized a Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM) and celebrated with a video signing ceremony.

The mutual commitment creates a framework in which SBA and the SCAO will partner on programming and outreach that supports the Ohio Somali community. The SAM allows both organizations to cross promote and collaborate on business training and services to better link Ohio Somali businesspeople, as well as the general Somali populace, to SBA programs and services. 

“SBA works to help all Americans pursue the dream of business ownership and success,” SBA Central and Southern Ohio District Director Everett M. Woodel, Jr. said. “We are honored to be able to formally partner with the SCAO to connect Ohio’s Somali public with SBA’s offerings.  We look forward to many future collaborations with the SCAO.”

Columbus is home to the second largest community of Somali immigrants in the United States. It is a community that places a high value on academics and entrepreneurship. Over 500 independent Somali businesses contribute to the diverse local culture in the Columbus area, including many retail shops, restaurants and specialized trade companies.

“The Somali community has a business and entrepreneurial mindset,” said Mr. Hassan Omar, president of the SCAO. “Even though we have been here for a short amount of time the community has created a variety of different businesses ranging little shops to ethnic malls. They have a created a path for themselves to be more independent and be amongst those setting their roots in a new environment. Partnering with SBA will increase education in our community, which will give more information on how American businesses work.”



Photo caption: SBA District Director Everett M. Woodel (lower left) and Somali Community Association of Ohio President Hassan Omar (upper left) hold the SAM they signed on April 5, 2021 as SBA Deputy Director Terry Bolden and Public Affairs Specialist Patricia Welsh look on.


About the Somali Community Association of Ohio: 

The SCAO is an officially recognized 501(C)(3) non-profit organization founded by Somali immigrants in 1996. It is central Ohio's leading voice for Somali immigrants and the first grass-roots organization to serve the Somali refugee community. The organization advocates for and promotes self-sufficiency in families through employment, education, cultural and social support, in addition to economic empowerment. The SCAO serves elders, working adults, teens and children at no charge. Special support is provided to recent immigrants who seek to create new lives in the United States. To learn more visit


About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more visit