Small Business, Big Dreams – Harris County

Extension in the City Success Stories

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Text Transcription: Small Business, Big Dreams

Today we’re having a small business conference here in the east end of Houston, Harris County, trying to help our citizens here in the east end which are Spanish speaking to establish or hone their skills where they can establish their own local business and actually make it more profit for them and their family and make it a long time business effort for them.

Extension has the capability of organizing through community the ability to bring knowledge out to the people from the university.

This concept, the educational concept is very important because that’s what we need more of. We need for the folks that leave here to talk to their families and to talk to their kids so their kids can start thinking about it; I want to have my own business.

This is the first effort of this conference to kind of start out on a big limb; this is what we’re going to try to be doing. Then after this session there’ll be some small mini sessions going on to really hone these small business plans down or financial management type things or any type things that these individuals need to establish their business. We’re going to be there to help them get their business going.

The problem in our community has always been the buying power, you know where our community is the one that is really marketed but it’s never been where our community really focuses on them developing their own business. So if we start out with a small business concept and you bring this idea to our community I think it’s a big step.

In our community we need to have the bilingual concept, to be able to not only get the message across but to instill the element that we’re outreaching, we’re reaching out which is important.

Extension makes the effort to communicate people to people. And they have people on their staff, Extension agents that have the ability to be bilingual that are actually going out into the community where the people live and delivering the knowledge. Whereas you wouldn’t see that happen in a normal university environment where people go to a class or go to public education courses.

One of the good things about Extension is that it measures its results. You don’t usually see Extension doing a one time program, they usually develop curriculum and when that curriculum is successful it becomes standardized, if it needs to be upgraded it’s upgraded, and then they have a program that goes on in communities for a long period of time.
You can’t explain everything in one day, but if we think we can get them on the right track we can do those serious type things later on.

This country was built on the small business concept, there was no such thing as the big business concept, it was all small, and for us not to forget that and for Extension to bring it to our community, I’m thankful.