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OCA Announces Entrepreneur Empowerment Training Program in Chicago
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OCA Announces Entrepreneur Empowerment Training Program in Chicago

November 5, 2007 

Hope Chu | Communications Manager
202 223 5500 |

New scholarship program funded by State Farm® targets APA Entrepreneurs in the Greater Chicago Area 

Chicago, IL – OCA, a national organization dedicated to ensuring social justice for Asian Pacific Americans, is proud to announce the expansion of our entrepreneurship training workshop series, the Entrepreneur Empowerment Training (EET) program, to the Greater Chicago area.

The EET will provide a limited number of full scholarships to entrepreneurs in Chicago’s OCA and APA communities to attend a 12 week FastTrac Planning business development program. The program will run from January to April, 2008, and is valued at $400.00. The EET is run with generous support from State Farm®, and in partnership with OCA’s Greater Chicago Chapter and the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC), a member of the Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC).

"OCA is excited to be working with State Farm® and AWBC to provide this valuable workshop for our members,” said Michael Lin, OCA Executive Director, "We are confident that this program will help participants fulfill their goals of financial independence and economic well-being.”

"This is an opportunity for APAs in the Chicago metro area who are serious about starting a business, as well as entrepreneurs who are looking for ways to grow their businesses,” said Woon-Wah Siu, OCA-Chicago President, "We’re looking for committed individuals who are ready to take their business or business idea to the next level. OCA, State Farm®, and AWBC are dedicated to helping APAs increase their contributions to the business community.”

The FastTrac Planning program is an intensive 12-week course covering the essential skills needed to start and expand a business. Participants will graduate with a vision for success and an in-depth action-oriented business plan. The curriculum will help participants develop the skills of a successful entrepreneur, including raising capital; preparing financial statements, sales projections and cash flow; conducting market research and analysis; improving operations and managing growth; and other financial and operational basics."

The number of APA-owned businesses in the U.S. has grown significantly over the past decade, and we’ve seen similar growth in the Greater Chicago area,” said Hedy Ratner, WBDC Co-President, "With the Entrepreneur Empowerment Training, and support from OCA and State Farm®, the WBDC is thrilled to provide training and assistance to the growing community of APA entrepreneurs.”

The Chicago program will launch in January, 2008 at the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC). Future programs are being planned in New York City and other areas. Applications for the Chicago area program are available online at and are due by December 21, 2007.

Questions or requests for applications can be directed to Hope Chu ( or 202 223 5500).

Founded in 1973 as the Organization of Chinese Americans, OCA is a national organization dedicated to advancing the social, political and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans. OCA is comprised of over 80 chapters and affiliates across the nation advocating for social justice, equal opportunity, and fair treatment; promoting civic participation, education, and leadership; advancing coalitions and community building; and fostering cultural heritage.

State Farm®’s mission is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams, and we are delighted to sponsor Entrepreneur Empowerment Training.  Our commitment to the APA community is to help build stronger communities through financial education. State Farm® online:

The Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) of Chicago works with women to launch new businesses and strengthen existing businesses in the Chicago area. The WBDC is a leader in providing direct services to women business owners and in effecting public policy changes which reflect the needs of women entrepreneurs and their families. The WBDC is one of about 100 Association of Women’s Business Center (AWBC) members throughout the U.S. Founded in 1998, the purpose of the AWBC is to create a world where economic justice, wealth and well-being are realized through the collective leadership and power of successful entrepreneurial women.  WBDC online: AWBC online:
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