IACCGH Small Business Series Featuring HCC

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Picture Credit: Bijay Dixit, Unique Photo Images


Article by: Somdatta Basu

Houston Community College (HCC) and IACCGH Collaborate to Support Small Businesses


April 23, Houston, TX – In an effort to support small businesses, the Houston Community College (HCC) and the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH) joined forces to host an event showcasing entrepreneurial initiatives and experiences. The event, held at Elite Restaurant and sponsored by CenterPoint Energy and Wallis Bank, brought together key figures from both organizations, along with panelists and community partners. The discussion at the event reveals a deep commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and providing vital support to small business owners. Asif Dakri, CEO of Wallis Bank, highlighted the bank’s dedication to supporting small businesses, emphasizing their role as the number one small business lender in Houston. He underscored Wallis Bank’s commitment to aiding and support, especially during challenging times like the recent pandemic. The bank’s responsiveness and dedication to helping small businesses navigate financial difficulties earned them praise from the attendees and speakers.

Rajiv Bhavsar, President of IACCGH, emphasized the Chamber’s commitment to organizing events that benefit the community.

Dr. Maya Durnovo, representing HCC, outlined the college’s initiatives aimed at supporting entrepreneurs. She spoke about the various programs offered by HCC’s entrepreneurial initiatives, which focus on helping small businesses start and grow. Dr. Durnovo highlighted the success of these programs, made possible through strategic partnerships and grants. The event provided a platform for networking, learning and celebrating entrepreneurship. Attendees had the opportunity to engage with industry experts, share insights and explore resources available to support their business endeavors. The collaborative efforts between HCC and IACCGH underscored the importance of community partnerships in nurturing a thriving ecosystem for small businesses.

The Small Business Series by HCC was introduced as a valuable resource for entrepreneurs, providing essential skills to navigate the challenges of business ownership. With over 587 graduates, the program has empowered countless entrepreneurs to refine their business assumptions and develop strong plans for success. The HC Mattress Mack School of Selling was lauded as another pillar of support for entrepreneurs, equipping them with the sales skills necessary to thrive in competitive markets. With 283 alumni and ongoing cohorts, the program has become a vital asset for business owners seeking to enhance their selling capabilities.

Connie Leon, the program coordinator at the West Houston Institute, shared insights into their initiatives to support makers and creatives in the small business ecosystem.

Ravi Brahmbhatt, the director of Center for Entrepreneurship and Student Innovation, highlighted the college’s efforts to cultivate the next generation of entrepreneurs. With hands-on learning opportunities, hackathons and pitch competitions, HCC has empowered local students to become changemakers in their communities.

Marshette Turner, the Director of the Houston MBDA Business Center, emphasized the agency’s mission to foster economic prosperity for all American enterprises, particularly those owned by minorities and disadvantaged individuals. Through access to capital, contracts and strategic services, the MBDA has facilitated over $900 million in financing transactions and $660 million in contracting opportunities.

The collaborative efforts of organizations demonstrate a commitment to supporting entrepreneurs at every stage of their journey. From education and mentorship to access to capital and market opportunities, these initiatives are essential for fostering a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in Houston and beyond.