Montgomery Community Media hosted entrepreneur, philanthropist and author Frank Islam as the Small Business University series keynote speaker for April.
MyMCMedia’s Valerie Bonk has the story of how Islam got his start as a businessman in Montgomery County and what he says is his key to success.
Doing well while doing good is the message Frank Islam gave to the crowd at Montgomery Community Media’s small business networking event in Rockville.
“It’s very important for them to serve the community, it’s very important to give back in sharing it,” said Frank Islam, CEO, FI Investment Group. “America has provided an opportunity for them to succeed. It is high time that they return that favor back to America by sharing and giving back.”
An author, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Islam currently runs a private investing company that provides support to emerging businesses.
He got his start in business as the founder of QSS, a government contractor and information technology firm that made $280 million in revenue before its sale in 2007.
But it wasn’t easy.
“My journey was not a straight line, it was not always easy, and the final destination was not certain,” Islam said.
A Potomac resident, Islam says that perseverance and the support of the surrounding community helped him through.
“What enabled me to prevail on my journey was the belief in myself and those around me and the opportunity presented by the American dream,” Islam said.
Small business owners at this event said the speech inspired them to make a difference.
“To do well and to do good and to give back and to give your employees input,” said Sabrina Rosenberg of Mike’s Locksmith. “You’re going to have a rocky road ahead sometimes as a small business but that you can withstand that if you do the right things,” she said.
“Understanding where your gifts are and laser in on those gifts to get to the next level but understand where your limitations are and bring people in your fold where I guess you need the expertise in developing a well-rounded business,” said Greg Markis, Vice President of Business Development for the Above the Standard Procurement Group.
“It was very inspirational,” said Paul Tembunde, owner of Visiting Angels Home Care. “Being an immigrant as well it really resented with me and it gave me a lot of fuel for the fire so I can get out there and grow my business.”