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Entrepreneurship club develops small businesses

by Karen N. Mirikitani, staff writer


Developing a small business can be very rewarding, as the members of the Entrepreneurship Club at HPU discovered when they met at the Small Business Administration Resource Center of Hawai‘i Feb. 14. The topic of interest was how to start a business in the United States.

The members met David Brown, economic development specialist with the SBA, who presented some startling facts and pointers for future business developers. “We processed 36 loans worth $2.5 million to people who want to start their own business,” said Brown. “Here at the SBARC,” he continued, “we try to accommodate everyone who is interested in future business development.”

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Club members learned that starting a business can be difficult if one does not know where to begin. The first thing to do, Brown said, is write a business plan. Unfortunately, he admitted, people often do this last.

Brown showed the members around the center and encouraged them to use the facilities as much as possible. It has a resource library with business literature and materials that provide information on a wide range of business development topics, including “E-Business,” “How to do a Business Plan,” etc. Complete folders on these can be photocopied for a nominal fee.

Use of the center is free, or at a small charge once a person signs up with them. “The first thing after one develops a business plan and has it approved is to get a loan,” said Brown. “Usually, the first business loan is the hardest. After that, the person must develop a solid track record which leads to productivity in the business.”

At the SBARC, workshops and seminars are free and conducted by the economic specialists. What interested the club’s members was using the computer lab and its programs on how to start a business and business development. Brown was encouraging: “Come to SBARC, make an appointment with us. We will try to help you on your way to starting a business here in the U.S.A.”

One member, Handy Siswanto, a graduate student from Indonesia majoring in MSIS, is interested in developing an import-export trading company with his friend from Thailand. “Coming to the SBARC really encouraged me to fully develop my business plan,” said Siswanto. “Being involved with the Entrepreneurship Club at HPU is only the beginning to what will evolve into a profitable business some day.”



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