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As Muslim entrepreneurs in America, we face a challenge: balancing capitalism with community so that our enterprises make a positive social impact while remaining profitable.
Over the last 35 years, I have witnessed my father, Lawrence Shamsid-Deen, work to do so in the Muslim community, both locally and nationally, by committing to excellence in food service, community empowerment and social responsibility.
As he built his business, one location at a time, I witnessed him in his role as a husband, father, business owner and Muslim. From his private donations to the Muslim community to his Eid food sponsorships for Muslims all over Atlanta, he paved the way for Supreme Fish Delight to be a household name in the Muslim community nationwide.
As President and CEO of Supreme Fish Delight, it is my commitment to continue to serve humanity through job creation, entrepreneurship and social responsibility. In 1996, just after a successful contract with the Olympics, I accepted the challenge of launching a non profit organization to work with youth and young adults preparing them for jobs while providing training in business and entrepreneurship.
Since its inception, we have grown to serve over 100 students per day in three high schools within South DeKalb. We have been able to harness the collective energy of both the public and private sector to provide free afterschool programs to low income youth in our community. Exposure Expands Opportunities!
With an emphasis now on global opportunities, it is my mission to launch 100 locations of Supreme Fish Delight, Supreme Burger and Supreme Chicken worldwide with the intent to go public in 2020, providing thousands of jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for businessmen and women worldwide.
As I think of advice for aspiring businessmen and women, I would like to share my philosophy on excellence at a minimum and the five keys to success:
Success in entrepreneurship takes integrity, good character, access to capital and an intense work ethic. It takes a team, a vision large enough for others to see themselves in, and a product or service that can be scaled and replicated; it takes peace at home and a commitment greater than the obstacles that will present themselves.
Over the years, the following “5 Keys” have proven instrumental in my personal entrepreneurial development:
The pursuit of education with a passion to best understand and become an expert in your industry
Being prepared for the opportunity before, during, and after it is presented
Being motivated, engaged and able to celebrate the small wins while maintaining focus on the overall goal
Being committed to integrity in communication both for networking and for basic business principals
Establishing a foundation built on morals and values in both the personal and professional realm
Those five keys to success, with a commitment to strive for excellence daily, have given me a foundation to build my business life, family life and community life.
I have shared my life lessons in my first book, “Excellence at a Minimum: The Plight of an Entrepreneur.”
More about Youth V.I.B.E., Inc. Established in 1996, Youth V.I.B.E.’s Vision is to “Empower Tomorrow’s Leaders.” Its Mission is “to expose youth to the skills and experiences that teach and encourage business leadership.” Youth V.I.B.E. www.YouthVIBE.org has worked closely with Muslim youth and the broader community to forge strategic relationships and provide programs for high school youth. Currently, Youth V.I.B.E. works with over 100 youth a day in Towers High School, Clarkston High School and WD Mohammed High School to provide free after school programs and summer camps.
More about Supreme Fish Delight Supreme Fish Delight was founded by Lawrence Shamsid-Deen in 1980. With 10 locations in the Atlanta Market, Supreme Fish Delight is known for its hand breaded, southern style fish. For franchising opportunities, visit the website at www.SupremeFish.com
More about Supreme Burger Supreme Burger is a new concept featuring Halal salmon burgers, chicken burgers, lamb burgers, turkey burgers, veggie burgers and beef burgers, with three locations opening this year and proposed locations in Nigeria, Tanzania, Dubai, Kenya and Canada.
More about Excellence the Book From managing a multi-million dollar operation at the age of 22 to a chance real estate deal with a Libyan prince, Waleed Shamsid-Deen has spent the last 20 years gaining a stellar reputation as a shrewd business consultant, manager and community leader. In his debut book, "Excellence at a Minimum: The Plight of an Entrepreneur," Shamsid-Deen cuts through the clutter to blend theoretical concepts with the practical application that you won't learn in business school.
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