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OCA, State Farm®, AWBC Graduate First Class of APA Entrepreneurs
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OCA, State Farm®, AWBC Graduate First Class of APA Entrepreneurs

December 19, 2007

Hope Chu | Communications Manager
202 223 5500 |

Entrepreneur Empowerment Training in Northern Virginia sponsored by State Farm®, comes to successful close

Washington, DC – OCA, a national Asian Pacific American (APA) organization dedicated to advancing the social, political and economic well-being of APAs, celebrated the completion of the first session of its new financial workshop program, the Entrepreneur Empowerment Training (EET) last week.

The EET is run with generous support from State Farm, and in partnership with the Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC), a national network of centers supporting entrepreneurial development. The program offers full scholarships to APA entrepreneurs to participate in intensive courses covering the essential skills needed to start a business, from business plan development to financing a start up.

The EET launched in September 2007, with 10 APA entrepreneurs from Maryland, DC, and Virginia attending classes held by the Women’s Business Center of Northern Virginia. Participants’ business concepts range in interest and service to include a mobile payment solution, an online thrift store, a socially responsible bakery and IT product development. The entrepreneurs participating in the fall 2007 session are: Jack Ding, Thoria Hassan, Peter Ho, Cynthia Kim, Lily Liang, Paula Lin, Qiang Lu, Wenyao Shi, Michael Sun, Jeffery Wu, and Anthony Yan.

Two more programs are scheduled to start in the Greater Chicago and New York City areas in January and February, 2008, respectively.

"State Farm is proud to grow the entrepreneurial spirit in the APIA community,” said Leslie Moe-Kaiser, Corporate Relations Manager, State Farm, "We congratulate the graduates and wish them every success in their business endeavors.”

"I would like to extend my congratulations to this session’s graduates,” said Michael Lin, Executive Director, OCA, "OCA is proud to support the entrepreneurs in our community, and we look forward to working with State Farm and AWBC to bring the Entrepreneur Empowerment Training to OCA chapters around the country.”

"I join my colleagues and extend heartfelt congratulations to all the EET graduates. The effort you have invested in yourselves is also an investment in our Nation and in our collective dream to provide economic choice and empowerment through the portal of entrepreneurship. The AWBC is honored to work in collaboration with State Farm and OCA to provide this program and opportunity,” said Ann Marie Almeida, President and CEO, AWBC.

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® insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in the U.S. and is also a leading insurer in Canada. State Farm's 17,000 agents and 68,000 employees serve over 76 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and more than 1.7 million bank accounts. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 31 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit® or in Canada®.

The Association of Women’s Business Center (AWBC) consists of about 100 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. AWBC online:

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