written by Triyanti Mandasari, Fall 2019 Fellow from Indonesia
I am currently participating as a fellow for the YSEALI Professional Fellows Program. This program provides young leaders from Southeast Asia countries the opportunity to spend 6 weeks in the United States, including working directly with American organizations. Fellows will be able to improve their leadership skills, professional networks and practical expertise while working in an international environment. This program also gives the opportunity to those young leaders to gain more understanding about American cultures by living with a host family.
I am being placed at Hawaii Small Business Development Center (SBDC). SBDC is a source to small business owners, providing advice, research, training to new entrepreneurs and even they help those entrepreneurs make financial statement. It’s related to what I do back in my country where I am as a Relationship Manager at a state-owned bank. My job includes distributing capital loans to small business owners, assist them to improve their businesses and help them make financial statement, because there are only a few of them being able to make financial statement and I also educate them to make their financial statement themselves in order to create accurate data.
The last two days of working at SBDC, I attended an event aimed at small business owners to be able to do business with federal organizations such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Department of The Navy. This event was held in order to give tips to small business owners about doing a partnership with those organizations where small business owners will be able to sell their products to them because it’s more difficult for small business owners to do business with federal organizations than corporations are. That’s why this event was a useful resource for them.
One of the federal organizations that gave a presentation was FEMA. FEMA is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security, initially created by Presidential Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1978 and implemented by two Executive Orders on April 1, 1979. The agency’s primary purpose is to coordinate the response to a disaster that has occurred in the United States and that overwhelms the resources of local and state authorities. FEMA presented about tips and steps doing a partnership with FEMA, top commodities procured to support disaster that might be supplied by those small business owners. Using The Industry Liaison Program (ILP), where it created a process that ensures information about a company’s products or services is routed to the appropriate FEMA contracting and acquisition professionals for possible supplemental market research.
I am so glad that I attended this kind of event because I really want to know how American organizations or institutions support local small business owners to expand their businesses.