Institute for Family-Owned Business

Panelists from the Institute for Family Businesses

The Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) recently held a unique event to support immigrant family businesses. The “How To’s: Immigrant Family Business Panel” was a recorded in person panel discussion designed to equip immigrant business owners with the tools and resources to help them succeed.

IFOB is a non-profit organization that has been supporting family-owned businesses in Maine since 1995. They provide education programs, networking opportunities, and consulting services for family business owners, executives, and employees. Their commitment has helped support businesses to better navigate challenges and sustain a successful family enterprise.

The event featured four speakers who shared their experiences and insights on running a successful business as an immigrant. They highlighted some of the unique challenges and discussed the strategies to overcome and succeed.

Two of the speakers, Michael Molisho, Founder & CEO at Maine Med Cleaning, American Diamond Cleaning Services; and Lucie Narukundo, Founder & CEO at Moriah Store; speak about their journey as immigrant business owners after settling in Maine. Both Michael and Lucie used IFOB and community leaders to help them along their journey.

The panel also included Kerem Durdag, President & Chief Operating Officer at GWI and Founder and Managing Partner of The Indus Fund; and Gene Ardito, President & CEO at cPort Credit Union; to highlight the Indus Fund. The Indus Fund is a community supported micro loan program for the immigrant community in Maine. The Fund strives to significantly expand the available capacity and capability of loans to service the needs of small business owners within the immigrant community.

The Immigrant Family Business Panel was an inspiring and informative event that demonstrated the resilience and resourcefulness of immigrant family business owners. IFOB’s commitment to promoting and supporting family-owned businesses is a testament to their dedication in building strong and successful communities.

Pictured above, left to right: Gene Ardito, Michael Molisho, Lucie Narukundo, and Kerem Durdag