It’s always wonderful to hear news of Nigerians doing great things in the diaspora. Idris Oluwafemi Rufus, who hails from Iluke in Kogi State – Nigeria was recently honored with the prestigious
African Caribbean Business Council (ACBC) 2014 Entrepreneurship Award at the ACBC 5th Winter Awards Dinner held on November 8th, 2014 in Philadelphia USA. Other notable Nigerians that have received ACBC awards in previous years include Chief Olusegun Obasanjo former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State.
In addition to the ACBC award, Mr. Idris, who is a world-class leader and a globally celebrated community economic development expert also received a Certificate of Recognition from the Senate of Pennsylvania, and a Citation from the Council of the City of Philadelphia USA.
The certificate of recognition from the Senate of Pennsylvania USA reads:
Senator Anthony H. Williams takes great pleasure in recognizing Rufus Idris, Executive Director CEED, for outstanding entrepreneurial accomplishments and receiving the African Caribbean Business Council’s Entrepreneurship Award. Therefore, Sen. Anthony H. Williams extends sincere appreciation and congratulations to your outstanding service to our community and wishes you continued success in all your vocational and philanthropic endeavors.
The Citation from the Council of the City of Philadelphia USA reads:
The Council of the City of Philadelphia is pleased and proud to join with the African Caribbean Business Council in recognizing Rufus Idris as a 2014 award recipient at the ACBC 5th Winter Awards Dinner.
Whereas, the ACBC Awards Program was established to recognize significant contributions by individuals, groups and businesses to the African and Caribbean Communities. The ACBC Winter Award is presented to individuals who have displayed long-term excellence in their areas of expertise.
Whereas, Mr. Idris, born and raised by a family of entrepreneurs, is the Executive Director of CEED, a Pittsburgh-based economic empowerment non-profit organization that provides microenterprise support and technical assistance to underserved and disadvantaged entrepreneurs, especially immigrants, refugees and minorities from 30 plus countries living in Southwestern Pennsylvania. 400 plus underserved and disadvantaged entrepreneurs, especially African immigrants, refugees and minorities have received microenterprise and technical assistance from CEED. Assistance offered to small business clients includes; Business review and planning to meet modern day economic realities (Business plan development); Training and counseling; Market analysis and exploring new market opportunities; Taking advantage of current business technology (e-commerce, websites, social media, apps, software, tools/devices etc.); Microloans and alternative financing; mentoring and capacity building. Mr. Idris has successfully designed, secured funding, and implemented Community Economic Development projects worth millions of U.S dollars, assisted hundreds of underserved and disadvantaged businesses and created hundreds of jobs; and
Whereas, from 2010 to 2013, Mr. Idris facilitated series of Nigeria – USA economic development and business partnership initiatives connecting Africa to Business leaders and investors from the United States. He continues to host various leaders from the continent of Africa with the intent to connect them to untapped opportunities in the United States and vice-versa. Mr. Idris in partnership with ACBC recently facilitated a successful Business and Entrepreneurial Trade Mission to State of Osun, Nigeria (August 18th – 26th 2013); the trade mission delegation comprised of 20 business executives, entrepreneurs, and elected officials – from New York City, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia – who are leaders in the fields of Agriculture, Health care, Education, Mining, Energy and Environment, Waste management, Housing and Infrastructure, Transportation, Retail trade, Import and Export, Travel and Tourism, and Cultural Development; and
Whereas, Mr. Idris, a 2013 Honoree of the New Pittsburgh Courier FAB 40 Awards and a 2011 Nominee of the prestigious Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award helped unite 30 plus African Countries living in Southwestern Pennsylvania and facilitated the establishment of the Union of African Communities in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. Mr. Idris is widely read having trained at the Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology in Nigeria, La Roche College in Pittsburgh-USA during which he made the Dean’s List for Academic Excellence and bagged the Who is Who in American Universities/Colleges Leadership Award. He attended the Southern New Hampshire University for a Masters in Community Economic Development. Mr. Idris is also an alumnus of the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education where he studied Performance Measurement for Effective Management of Non-profit Organization. Mr. Idris is pursuing a Ph.D. in Global Leadership at Indiana Tech to position him to lead multicultural organizations with a global mindset in the 21st century.
Therefore, by virtue of this Citation, the Council of the City of Philadelphia does hereby join with ACBC in recognizing Mr. Idris as a 2014 recipient of the Entrepreneurship Award at the ACBC 5th Winter Awards Dinner. We commend Mr. Idris for his accomplishments and extend to him the sincere respect and admiration of this legislative body. Congratulations.
Mr. Idris has successfully served in many leadership capacities both in the United States of America and Nigeria, and he is currently working on a number of public-private partnership projects to bring the much needed development to his people.