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Donation establishes micro-loan fund at UH


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POSTED: Thursday, September 24, 2009

Entrepreneurs at the University of Hawaii at Manoa will be able to apply for loans to start their own businesses, thanks to a $130,000 donation from Dustin Shindo, president and chief executive officer of Hoku Scientific Inc.

Shindo donated warrants for Hoku shares in 2005 that were sold after the company's initial public offering to establish a Microloan Fund, the UH Foundation said in a news release.

Students can apply for loans ranging from $500 to $5,000. Up to $20,000 will be available each semester.

To receive a loan, students must submit an application, attend a workshop and prepare a business plan. Loans must be used for working capital, supplies, equipment and inventory. Priority will be given to undergraduate students enrolled in the engineering and entrepreneurship degree programs.

The loans will be administered by the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship at the Shidler College of Business.

“;We are hopeful that this program will encourage student innovation by strengthening the links between engineering and entrepreneurship, two disciplines Hoku strongly supports,”; Shindo said in the news release.

“;We're excited to have this unique funding mechanism, which will spark students' interest in entrepreneurship, especially in engineering students,”; said Peter Crouch, dean of the College of Engineering. “;This fund enables them to take the next step in becoming an entrepreneur.”;

Vance Roley, dean of the Shidler College of Business, said, “;We encourage students to embrace new business opportunities, and this is the perfect way to do this.”;