Small Business Week Special: Magnifying Some Local Small Businesses

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Arts & Culture
author Photo: Amy Gizienski,

Show Summary:

It's Small Business Week! Let's take a look at some of the local small businesses that are benefiting Chicago and some of the unique services and products they offer.

Executive Producer: Abdul Malik Mujahid

Host(s): Matthew Ramadan

Producer: Saimah Shareef


Asma Khan Soap Ethics

Asma Khan worked in the Halal and Natural Foods Manufacturing industry for six years. She was very aware of the growing health and wellness dialogue taking place especially in the evolution of halal products and consumers. Khan had been making her own soaps for a while but a shift in her personal life forced her to resign from her job. She applied her industry background and converted her hobby into an online business to keep herself busy.


[Background Image: Jan Fidler,]




Joseph Dickstein Flowers for Dreams

Joseph Dickstein started Flowers for Dreams with his business partner Steven back in 2012. At first it was a seasonal business where they worked with universities providing floral pieces for their graduations. Then it moved into what it is today, providing flowers for fair and honest prices (just $35 which includes delivery). Additionally every bouquet benefits an amazing local charity. 


[Background Image: Tom Hannigan,]

Levi Baer Coffee & Conversation

To Levi Baer, a perfect world is one in which everyone has access to the systems and resources needed to advance their ideas and projects. He is solving this challenge using games, entrepreneurship, and community building. Currently an independent team building consultant, an instructor of Communication Studies at DePaul University, and the driving force behind the entrepreneur community Coffee & Conversation, he is always interested in the next opportunity for advancement.


[Background Image: Francis Vallance,]

Rayda Edding Baba Pita Mediterranean Cuisine

Sr. Rayda Edding came to the U.S. from the Philippines in 1989 to do her Ph.D in Genetic Engineering. After experiencing several miscarriages and learning more about Islam here in the United States, she decided to become a full time mother to her 6 children and devote her life raising her family grounded in deen (religion). Her husband, Ziad Ouyoun, feeling "bad " that she has to be a stay-at-home mom, bought her a home based business in 1994 for $900. That kitchen-run business grew exponentially and in 2003 the net worth was 500K. Sr. Rayda's husband eventually left his research job in the hospital to join her in business. Since then they have ventured into the restaurant business, real estate ventures and e-commerce. Today, Sr. Rayda and her husband run several businesses and NGOs with their 6 grown up children who obviously got an early training in entrepreneurship.



[Background Image: John D.,]


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