Friday, March 27, 2015

Kosrae SBDC Assists Land Grant Youth Program

By: Skiller Jackson
Service Center Director/Business Advisor
Kosrae SBDC


The Kosrae SBDC and the College of Micronesia (COM) Land Grant Program renewed their long-time collaboration ties again this year. The COM Land Grant Youth Entrepreneurship Start-up (YES) program and the Kosrae SBDC had agreed to provide business skills training to out-of-school youths, students from the local college, students from the Kosrae High School, and other interested youth groups.

This collaborative effort started again last year around November 2014 where the COM Land Grant program recruited students from the Kosrae High School to pilot this YES program. This program runs every Wednesday around 9:00am to 10:00am. The Land Grant program will provide skills training in carving, sewing, and cooking while the Kosrae SBDC will provide business skills training in business plan development, pricing, small business management, and other basic business skills training.

This YES program started on November 2014 and will continue until May 2015. Hopefully, the program will start again when the new school year begins. The COM Land Grant program and the Kosrae SBDC is also planning on continuing this program to out-of-school youths and community youth groups during the summer.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Guam Muay Thai: Growing Strong

By: Denise Mendiola-Hertslet

Senior Business Advisor/WIB Program Coordinator

(Guam SBDC)

Honor, Respect, and Loyalty are words to live by for a man with humble beginnings. Santa Rita native, Kevin Jalique, also known as “Kru” to his students, has a passion for the art of Muay Thai. His unceasing determination and unbreakable self-discipline eventually fueled his desire to take the entrepreneurial path and open Guam Muay Thai in Mangilao. Since its inception in 2012, the business has quickly grown in students and now includes classes for women and children. We recently had an opportunity to share the story of Guam Muay Thai.

From left to right: Christina Kidd, Alvina Gumataotao, Adelle Dimalanta, Michelle Catahay, Jalanda Megofna, Januarie Strong, Kat Aquino, Mariana Kidd, Meagan Kidd, Geralyn Mendiola.
Bottom: Kru Melchor Antolin, Kru Kevin Jalique

Los Angeles, California was where Kevin Jalique’s passion in Muay Thai came about in 2000. He first started training under Instructor Kru Pongsan Ek-Yotin of the World Muay Thai Gym. It was through Kru Pongsan that Jalique honed his skills at being a teacher and a trainer and picked up some of the business aspects and operations of running a fight gym.  Jalique returned to Guam and after teaching at the Talent Box Studio and Underworld Xtreme gym, he had the vision of owning his own gym. The enrollment at the classes he taught were growing and he saw that there was a demand for it. However, to accommodate his students, he needed a larger facility and more equipment.

Jalique visited the Guam Small Business Development Center where Denise Mendiola-Hertslet assisted him and his wife, Piyamas Sablan-Jalique. He states that, “Denise provided them with a business plan template, great advice, and a lot of resources for loans if needed.” Jalique still consults with Denise when he has questions and finds her very helpful. Jalique recalls that the start-up process was easy and exciting, because his passion was there and with that he had the motivation to realize his end goal.

After completing the business plan, Jalique’s next goal was to find a good location. He took into consideration that he was still teaching classes at Talent Box Studio and Underworld Xtreme gym and to ensure that his students were able to easily transition to the new location. In 2012, Guam Muay Thai opened in Mangilao. Jalique strategically positioned the gym where a large part of his main market in the age group of 17 – 35 years old frequent and because of its proximity to the college and university. Passersby would see the gym from the road on their way to class and there were no other Muay Thai gyms in the area.

Jalique faced many challenges, but the biggest obstacle was the organization and time management to plan the set-up of the location for opening, working full time, and continuing to teach two classes. All the work was done themselves with the assistance of friends and students. Jalique said, “It was well worth all the hard work and sweat!” Jalique discussed what was in store for Guam Muay Thai. For its short terms goals, he wants to keep their current students and increase enrollment. In the long term, Jalique plans on getting a bigger facility, provide more classes, increase retail sales, and start hosting amateur Muay Thai fights for kids and adults.

Lastly, Jalique reached out to the aspiring entrepreneurs with some advice. He stated, “Do something that you have a passion for because you may not see the profits come in right away, be prepared to a low, and make an appointment with the Guam SBDC before doing anything.” To learn more about Guam Muay Thai, check out their Facebook page at or give them a call at 671-487-7718.

For more information about the Guam Small Business Development Center contact Denise Mendiola Hertslet, Senior Business Advisor and Bank of Guam Women in Business Program Coordinator at or 735-2590 or visit our website at

Friday, March 13, 2015

USDA, Farm Service Agency – Microloan Program Now Available in Marshall Islands

In partnership with the U.S. Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Farm Service Agency (FSA) microloan program is now available to agricultural producers of all types in Majuro, RMI.     
The microloan program was established to serve small-scale operations with access to up to $50,000 with a simpler application process, a low, fixed interest rate, and a maximum of seven years to repay.  Microloans can be used for initial start-up expenses; annual expenses such as seed, fertilizer, utilities and land rents; value-added processing, marketing and distribution expenses; and the purchase of livestock and equipment.
“SBDC business training and education, in combination with access to low-interest microloans, can provide producers with opportunities to increase their family income, promote local food self-sufficiency and help stimulate the local economy,” said FSA, State Executive Director, Diane Ley.
The Majuro SBDC will provide a direct link for producers to FSA programs and guide them in the loan application process.  The College of the Marshall Islands will provide training and educational workshops while the RMI Ministry of Resources and Development will provide technical assistance and help coordinate all government and non-government partners.

From (L) to (R):  Hiroshi V. Yamamura, Minister of Public Works and Acting Minister for Resources and Development; Anel N. Philimon, Director, RMI SBDC; Carl Hacker, President,  College of the Marshall Islands; Diane L. Ley, State Executive Director, USDA, Farm Service Agency.

Friday, March 6, 2015

America's #1 Trusted Small Business Network

Celebrates 35 Years

Business has changed dramatically in the last 35 years, from the introduction of new technologies to the expansion of global trade. And  America’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network has been there throughout -- helping small businesses succeed, and helping aspiring entrepreneurs achieve the American dream of owning their own business.

“America’s small businesses are truly the engine of economic growth, and for 35 years, America’s SBDCs have been like spark plugs helping to keep that engine going,” said Charles “Tee” Rowe, President of America’s SBDC.

Today, a new business is opened by an SBDC in-depth client every 33 minutes; a new job is created in the U.S. by an SBDC in-depth client every 7 minutes; $100,000 in new sales are generated by SBDC in-depth clients every 4 minutes; and $100,000 in capital is obtained by SBDC in-depth clients every 15 minutes.

America’s SBDC network is a partnership that includes the U.S. Congress, SBA, the private sector, and the colleges, universities and state governments that manage SBDCs across the nation. SBDCs provide management and technical assistance to an estimated one million small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs each year. Small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs can go to their local SBDCs for free, face-to-face business consulting and at-cost training on writing business plans, accessing capital, marketing, regulatory compliance, international trade and more.

The 35-year story of how America’s Small Business Development Center Network grew -- from a small pilot program to a nationwide business education and training infrastructure with nearly 1,000 centers throughout the nation providing management and technical assistance to over a million Americans annually -- is a unique one. It chronicles the commitment of key federal lawmakers, training professionals, college and university officials, state and local policymakers, private and public sector partners, dedicated SBDC personnel, an active trade association and, most of all, the millions of small business men and women who have come to America’s SBDCs seeking to improve their lives through America’s free enterprise system.

Celebrating 35 years to us doesn’t mean looking back, it means looking to the next 35 years and where our network is going and what we are doing that is changing and revolutionizing the small business world. To learn more about what the SBDC program in your state is doing for small business, go to the SBDC locator and find out how SBDCs are helping businesses start, grow and thrive where you live.

To learn more about America’s SBDC or find your local SBDC, visit today!
Celebrating 35 Years
 William Flewellen, Jr. (of the University of Georgia) and Reed Powell (of the California State Polytechnic University at Pomona), both of whom served on the SBA National Advisory Board, begin discussing the need for a program that combines the resources of higher education, government and the private sector to support the development of small businesses.
The SBA implements a new University Business Development Center (UBDC) Program by funding a pilot initiative at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, CA.
Seven more universities are added to the network, in Georgia, California, Missouri, Nebraska, Maine, Florida and New Jersey.
Senator Gaylord Nelson introduces the Small Business Development Center Act
The network grows to 16 participants, with the addition of centers in Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah and Washington State, and becomes known as the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network.
The Association of Small Business Development Centers is formed, and Larry Bramlett, Director of the Georgia SBDC, becomes the Association’s first president.
President Carter signs legislation enacting the Small Business Development Centers network into law (P.L. 96-302).
Massachusetts and Alabama are added to the network.
Connecticut, Mississippi Kentucky, Iowa, Vermont, West Virginia and
Delaware are added to the network.
The SBA SBDC National Advisory Board is established.
SBA appoints a Deputy Associate Administrator for Management Assistance (later to be known as the Associate Administrator for SBDCs). Ms. Johnnie Albertson manages the national program in that position for the greater part of 20 years.
“Peer Reviews” are initiated and become the forerunner of the modern-day SBDC certification/accreditation program, which is provided for by statute.
Rhode Island, Michigan, Louisiana, Kansas Illinois, Tennessee, Texas- Arlington, Oregon, New Hampshire, New York (SUNY), Oklahoma, Texas- Houston and North Carolina are added to the network.
Indiana, Nevada, NY (Downstate) North Dakota, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, the Virgin Islands, Wyoming, Texas-Dallas, Texas-Lubbock, Texas-San Antonio, Ohio, Idaho and Alaska are added to the network.
Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, Hawaii and Virginia are added to the network.
The SBDC program returns to California after an absence of several years, establishing for the first time an SBDC program in every state in the nation.
The Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) hosts its first national Professional Development Conference for SBDCs.
Dr. James Chrisman publishes the first SBDC Economic Impact report on the nationwide impact of America’s SBDC network.
Guam is added to the network.
American Samoa is added to the network.
Six regional SBDC programs are established in California, making 63 total SBDC programs.
America’s SBDCs help in-depth consulting clients create a new job every 7 minutes; a new business every 33 minutes; $100,000 in sales every four minutes; and access $100,000 in capital every 15 minutes.
The Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) rebrands itself and the national SBDC network as America’s SBDC.”
America’s SBDC celebrates its 35th Anniversary.
America’s SBDC network comprises nearly 1,000 centers across the nation, providing consulting, training and other services to approximately one million small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs each year.