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Event Series Event Series: 1 Million Cups

1 Million Cups: Kiva

August 9, 2023 from 8:30 am to 10:00 am

A crowd gives a standing ovation to a presenter at a 1 Million Cups Cedar Rapids event

This Week: Kiva

This week’s presentation will be a panel discussion with three Kiva entrepreneurs; Larry Tiah (Hela Designer African Clothing), Teepeu Pewu (Tee’s Liberian Dish), and Darius Nupolu (Nupolu’s Emerging Farm LLC). All 3 business owners reside in Cedar Rapids and identify as Immigrant Entrepreneurs. The panel will discuss their business, how their Kiva loan assisted them in growing their business, their immigration experience as entrepreneurs in Iowa, and how the community can support them!

Darius Nupolu of Nupolu’s Emerging Farm LLC:

“I grew up in a traditional setting in Liberia, Africa on the farm with my parents. We farmed traditionally all year round, and the major income of our family was farming. When I moved to Iowa with my family, we got connected to Peace Reform Church. Through the church, we were given a small space to put in a garden. After one year, a friend of mine recommended me to Feed Iowa First, a nonprofit based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Based on what I could take on, I was able to secure a larger piece of land to farm. My goal is to farm on a larger scale.

Larry Tiah of Hela Designer African Clothing:

“I came to the U.S. as a refugee from my home country of Liberian in 2003. Our business is an African Market located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. We believe in friendly service and offer international foods, African products, and clothing. We started this business at home with just African clothing, and the demand for these products grew until we opened our own store. We’re looking forward to growing our business and continuing to serve Cedar Rapids and the surrounding communities.

Teepeu Pewu of Tee’s Liberian Dish:

“I have a great passion for cooking and have wanted to start my own restaurant for quite a while. I immigrated to the U.S. in 2014 during the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, and we moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa three years ago. I now run a restaurant called “Tee’s Liberian Dish,” located in the downtown area of Cedar Rapids. My restaurant serves Liberian cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Entrees focus on rice, meats, different vegetables, and a variety of sauces and gravies. I decided to start this business because I have a great passion for cooking and I wanted to introduce a new and unique menu to the already-existing ones. The City of Cedar Rapids provided me that opportunity earlier this summer, and it’s a dream come true to introduce Liberian cuisine to the city of Cedar Rapids.”

Join us every Wednesday at 8:30 AM to connect with other community members and hear from a new founder, entrepreneur, creative, business, or organization!

Are you a creative, founder, executive, or subject matter expert with stories to share or questions to ask? Apply to be a presenter! Or do you know one? Nominate a presenter!


Program Schedule

  • 8:30 to 9:00 – Coffee & Conversation
  • 9:00 to 9:45 – Official Program
  • 9:45 to 10:00 – Q&A

Want to stay up to date on 1MC events and presenters? Or do you want to present or nominate a community member? Visit the 1 Million Cups page below to sign up for our newsletter or apply to present!


Learn more about 1 Million Cups

About 1 Million Cups Cedar Rapids

The Kauffman Foundation developed 1 Million Cups (1MC) on the notion that entrepreneurs discover solutions and network over a million cups of coffee. We welcome early-stage businesses and established companies facing interesting challenges to present their companies. Typically, one or several representatives present before a panel of experts. They seek advice and then engage the audience in a question-and-answer session to encourage collaborative and honest conversations. We also feature expert speakers, founder fireside interviews, and explorations of business failures and the lessons learned!

The Cedar Rapids chapter is the sixth in the U.S., and events take place almost every Wednesday. Every event is free, and everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend!

Join us Wednesdays @ 8:30 a.m. at The Olympic Theater South Side (1202 3rd St SE #200, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401)! Each event features a presentation or conversation with a new founder, entrepreneur, business leader, subject matter expert, or creative. Find a list of upcoming events and presenters on our Calendar.

We update events as new information is available, so check the calendar often!

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August 9, 2023
8:30 am to 10:00 am
Event Categories:
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1 Million Cups: Cedar Rapids
View Organizer Website


The Olympic South Side Theater
1202 3rd St SE #200
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402 United States
+ Google Map
(319) 214-0392
View Venue Website