By Sonia Isotov
Budding entrepreneurs and business startups will want to take advantage of the night-time business planning series being offered by MEO Business Development Corp., an affiliate of Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. (MEO), during March and April.
The series starts next week with two free introductory classes to be held on March 8 and March 10 from 6 pm to 7 pm. These introductory classes are free and open to the public and will give prospective students a good idea of what they can expect during the series and get answers to their questions about the program.
Then, on Tuesday, March 15, the six-week series of classes and continues from 6-9 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays thru April 21. All sessions will be held at MEO’s Family Center at 99 Mahalani Street in Wailuku.
The Core Four Business Planning Classes covers how to set goals, do market research, determine pricing, make the sale, understand and create cash flow projections, and write a business plan; everything you need to know to start, fix, or grow your business.
New this year is the addition of one week following the 30-hour course during which students will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with BDC staff while putting the finishing touches on their business plans and/or cash flow projections so they can present them on Banker’s Night/Graduation, on April 26.
MEO BDC has made over 600 loans totaling more than $3 million in amounts from $500-$30,000. These loan recipients and the 1,350 business planning course graduates have created or retained more than 1,450 jobs in Maui County.
Susie Thieman, CEO, MEO BDC, who serves as the primary instructor for this class, has more than 30 years of experience in starting and managing small businesses.
Registration is required for the six-week series. There is a fee of $275 for the course. However, funding from the County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and the State Office of Community Services make financial assistance available for most students.
For more information call Evette Lau at 249-2990, extension 318.