716 Transformers: The Activist

By Nancy J. Parisi

Published on

“Turning Dreams Into Businesses” is the tagline of EforAll, a business accelerator that opened its Buffalo branch in May of 2021, naming Juweria Dahir as their Executive Director. Dahir is originally from East Africa, later moving to Switzerland and the United Kingdom before relocating to Buffalo in 2013 with her husband, a Buffalonian. EforAll, founded in 2010, is based locally in The Innovation Center on Ellicott Street on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, and provides entrepreneurs with free business classes. EforAll participants attend classes, receive mentoring, and have full access to a vital network of business and non-profit contacts. “EforAll works primarily with under-represented entrepreneurs, that’s our target audience.,” says Dahir. “They learn the nuts and bolts of what it means to launch and start a business. We take them from the ideation stage to marketing the business and we look for people who are going to launch a business in their own backyard, adding vitality to the community. Whether they’re on Sycamore Street or Grant Street they will hire people who look like them and help form a healthy tax base. My team also helps them learn that they do not have to do this on their own. I like to say that our pitch competition is not a shark tank, but a dolphin tank. Everyone at EforAll is in the game, participating as a specialist, or as a mentor. We cannot work in silos; we need to create a fertile environment for everyone to see their dream’s possibilities here in Buffalo and that they don’t have to pack up and go to another city to do that.”

716 Tips

“There are two small businesses that locals and visitors should visit: Nick’s Place on Amherst Street, and Global Villages on Grant Street. Nick’s is a mom-and-pop restaurant and it’s great for breakfast and is the closest to an English breakfast that I’ve seen in Buffalo. Global Villages is owned by a woman from Uganda and has African clothing, gift items, and more.”

Nancy J. Parisi headshot

Nancy J. Parisi

Nancy is a social documentation photographer based in Buffalo, NY.