Tsegereda Cherinat: Outstanding Entrepreneur of the Year

Congratulations to Tsegereda Cherinat, former Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota workforce development program participant, for her Minneapolis-based MicroGrants award “Outstanding Entrepreneur of the Year!” MicroGrants is a nonprofit that awards grants to help low-income people gain self-sufficiency. Tsegereda was one of six grantees selected out of nearly 600 applicants to be honored at a September 21 event.

“Even when I was down, my counselor was there to encourage me to keep going. It was as if my dreams had become our shared dreams.” ~Tsegereda Cherinat

The awards ceremony was an exciting affair, emceed by WCCO’s Angela Davis with music by T. Michael Rambo, at St. Olaf Church in Minneapolis. It quickly evolved into heartwarming speeches, including one by Tsegereda Cherinat. She had some powerful words to say about her experience working with Goodwill-Easter Seals counselors, as she navigated toward entrepreneurship, “Even when I was down, my counselor was there to encourage me to keep going. It was as if my dreams had become our shared dreams.”

Tsegereda Cherinat (in plaid), MicroGrants CEO Don Samuels (left), WCCO’s Angela Davis, and our own Wondwossen Abatheneh (right). Image courtesy of http://www.microgrants.net/

Tsegereda says that thanks to MicroGrants and Goodwill-Easter Seals she achieved “the professional and personal life I have always dreamed of.” She’s proud to have started her own business, Mena Market, which includes traditional and modern Ethiopian clothing and alterations. She used her MicroGrants grant to purchase her sewing machine and serger to help start the business.

Tsegereda and her daughter. Image courtesy of http://www.microgrants.net/

Wondwossen Abatheneh was one of Tsegereda’s counselors at Goodwill-Easter Seals and attended the ceremony. Proud to present her award, he said, “There is no greater joy for a social worker than seeing the person they work with not only address the issue they’re dealing with, but also thrive in their lives and excel at their jobs.” Wondwossen says Tsegereda was nominated by her counselors for Outstanding Entrepreneur of the Year because they “believe in her hard work, dedication and passion to see her dreams come to fruition.”

Congratulations Tsegereda and good luck in the future! If you’d like to learn more about her business, click here.