From Refugee to Restaurateur – Meet Workye Ephrem
When Workye Ephrem fled war-torn Ethiopia in 1974, she couldn’t have imagined that she would someday be the owner of two restaurants featuring her authentic Ethiopian cuisine. But thanks to her talent, passion, persistence and a little help from UCEDC, that’s exactly where she finds herself today.
After a career at the UN, Workye opened her eatery, Ghenet (Paradise) in NYC in 1998. With rave reviews and a seasoned staff, Workye was ready to open a second location in her hometown of North Bergen, NJ. But despite her successful track record, Workye could not get the financing she needed for renovations.
Enter UCEDC and
The Million Dollar Challenge
– a partnership with the Hudson County Economic Development Corporation (HCEDC). With the aim of injecting $1 million in affordable capital into Hudson’s small business community, the Challenge provides direct lending along with help in securing conventional financing.
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