Adenah Bayoh embodies the American dream. After escaping civil war in her native country of Liberia, she immigrated to the United States where she has become one of the most successful entrepreneurs in her home state of New Jersey. As founder and CEO of Foya Hospitality Group, a corporation that owns IHOP franchises in Paterson and Irvington, New Jersey, and co-founder of Kapwood LLC, a $200 million dollar real estate development firm focused on transforming urban communities, Adenah has built a successful business model around investing in and developing economically challenged neighborhoods.

In 2013, she participated in the Rutgers Business School/SBDC Student Experiential Learning Program partnering with NJSBDC at Rutgers-Newark to assist her with leveraging social media to expand her community relations efforts, which are an integral part of her business strategy. To this end, NJSBDC at Rutgers-Newark provided her with training and a comprehensive social media plan. Additionally, the Center assigned Rutgers Business School students to assist her with the initial setup of her accounts. Moreover, to further bolster her community outreach, NJSBDC at Rutgers-Newark recruited additional students to volunteer at Adenah’s Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway at IHOP Irvington. Prior to that, the NJSBDC at Rutgers-Newark Center Director Dr. Tendai Ndoro invited Adenah to be a Women’s Entrepreneurial Network (WEN) Business Breakfast guest speaker. Given her impressive business acumen and social entrepreneurship initiatives, Dr. Ndoro also nominated Adenah for the NJ Immigrant Entrepreneur Award. The honor, which Adenah won, recognizes current first-generation immigrant business leaders who help local New Jersey communities thrive.

The Center continues to support Adenah with her business community development efforts. Currently, she and the Center are collaborating on a series of workshops and consulting sessions for small business owners that will be hosted in the conference room of IHOP Irvington. The series will begin in November and offer small business owners and entrepreneurs an important opportunity for networking, learning, and business development.

NJSBDC at Rutgers-Newark continues to be a helpful resource for Adenah as she continues to expand her business portfolio. Next year, she will launch Cornbread, her signature line of fast casual, farm-to-table, soul food restaurants. This year she had the distinction of being appointed to the prestigious Federal Reserve Bank of New York Advisory Council on Small Business and Agriculture. She also broke ground on the $200 million dollar redevelopment of the former Irvington General Hospital site, which has been vacant for a decade. Adenah and her two partners plan to transform the blighted property into a mixed-income, 700-unit residential and retail community.