By Sonia Isotov
MEO Business Development Center (MEO BDC) graduated 34 students from its Core Four Business Planning course last month and is starting a special evening series on March 12.
The MEO program sees a wide variety of business plans being put together at the program. “The start-ups remain quite diversified, everything from ranching to high tech. However, over 25% are starting as home based businesses,” said Craig Swift, executive director of the MEO BDC program.
“Students who have taken the course and go into business have an 80% chance of being around after two years,” added Swift. “That compares to the national averages of only 20% being around after two years, who start their business without a business plan.”
Several business bankers from Maui volunteered their time to review the student’s business plans and attend the graduation, including: Bard Peterson and Leland Kahawai from First Hawaiian Bank; Galen Nakamura and Alvin Santander from the Bank of Hawaii; and Pat Matsumoto from Central Pacific Bank.At the graduation dinner on Feb. 26, these business bankers met with each entrepreneurs and gave their feedback and additional guidance in operating a successful business.
The next round of the Core Four program is an evening series. Prospective students can learn more about the program at special introductory classes being held March 5 and March 7 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the MEO’s Family Center, and on March 6 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Maui County Business Resource Center in the Maui Mall.
MEO BDC’s Core Four Business Planning is a 36-hour course on how to write a business plan while providing information to start, operate and grow a business. All sessions are held at MEO’s Family Center at 99 Mahalani Street in Wailuku, Tuition scholarship funds are available.
Registration is required for the six-week series and can be made at the introductory classes or at MEO’s Family Center.
The Core Four Business Planning Series is supported with funds from the County of Maui Office of Economic Development.
For more information, call the MEO’s Family Center at (808) 249-2990.