Business 101 for Kodiak’s Hispanic women aims to inspire entrepreneurship

12/16/2008

Contacts:

NR: SG-2008/NR285

Kodiak, Alaska—Kodiak's immigrant community plays a pivotal role in the local economy. They work as carpenters and electricians, and in the town's seafood processing plants, stores and supermarkets.

According to Sister Barbara Harrington, coordinator of the Marian Center in Kodiak, many local immigrants, especially Hispanic women, wish to be business owners.

“Our immigrants here in Kodiak have dreams and great potential for business, but they are perhaps unsure of how to get started,” explained Harrington. “We want to give people an idea of what the right path is to a successful business.”

With that goal in mind, Harrington joined with several local organizations and the University of Alaska Fairbanks to organize a Spanish-language workshop aimed at helping Hispanic women launch businesses.

The workshop will be held December 16 beginning at 7 pm at the Marian Center in Kodiak. For more information, contact Sister Barbara Harrington at 907-486-5214.

“The workshop is basically a primer, or a road map, to help local Hispanic women plan and start new businesses,” said Quentin Fong, a longtime Kodiak resident and seafood marketing specialist with the university's Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program. “We also hope to put together a roundtable discussion among successful business women that can serve to inspire women new to business.”

The workshop is a collaborative effort between St. Mary's Catholic Church, the Marian Center, the Alaska Hispanic Women's Association, the Alaska Cooperative Extension Service, and the Alaska Sea Grant College Program.

Tony Gasbarro is a professor with the Alaska Cooperative Extension Service headquartered in Fairbanks. He will deliver the presentation in Spanish.

“I guess you can say I am the facilitator,” said Gasbarro. “ "I am not a businessperson, but being fluent in Spanish, I was asked to help out. I am looking forward to working with the Kodiak community."