HCC helps Chinese entrepreneurs boost their businesses

Apr 20, 2016

As president of CP Logistics, Inc., Casey Chen knows plenty about transporting cargo, but the former Houston Community College (HCC) student admits her business needs to move to the next level.

“I want to know more about how the federal government works,” said Chen, who speaks Mandarin and English.

Chen is one of 26 Chinese American entrepreneurs who went through a 10-week Executive Training Program offered through the Corporate College at HCC, in collaboration with the Asian Chamber of Commerce-Houston and sponsored by Wells Fargo. The classes were taught in Mandarin.

“Our research tells us that individuals learn better in their own native tongue; although participants speak English, there are some words that don’t translate well,” said Jennifer Holmes, director, Corporate College at HCC. “The overall goal here is to help grow business revenue and increase employees.”

HCC recruited Kenneth Li, member of Houston’s Chinese community, as lead instructor. Li, along with various experts, taught students American-style business management, which included how to prepare an effective business plan, understanding business financial statements and contracts, economic support services for effective business management, human resources management, and marketing plan development.

“I feel the most important thing they learned was the business strategy training. A lot of entrepreneurs don’t have solid training in business planning and financials,” said Li, Asia-Pacific chairman, Houston Mayor’s Office of International Trade and Development.

During a special graduation ceremony at the Asian Chamber of Commerce-Houston, students received Certificates of Completion. Attendees heard encouraging words about the growth of Chinese companies in Houston from Consul General Li Qiangmin of the People’s Republic of China in Houston.

“This program is a very good investment. These students will not only improve their skills for doing business, but it is also a good promotion for Houston and HCC,” said Consul General Qiangmin.

Overtaking Mexico, China became Houston’s number one trade partner in 2015 and the diversity of Houston continues to attract more Chinese businesses to the city. It’s a trend noticed by Alice Chen, former Asian Chamber of Commerce chair, who explains why for that reason alone, the Chinese Community needs these educational programs.

Chen added, “These people are talented but they need to know more about how to do business in Houston. This program gives guidance, opportunities, and resources to the Asian Community. I want to thank HCC for taking the first step. This is a wonderful effort.”

The Corporate College at HCC is currently planning the curriculum for a similar course that will be taught in Vietnamese and any other language at request. To learn more about the programs offered at the Corporate College at HCC, visit hccs.edu/smallbusiness.

Asian Chamber of Commerce 2016

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