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The CNMI Small Business Development Center Network delivers professional, high quality, individualized business advising and technical assistance to existing small businesses and pre-venture entrepreneurs.

Building Women-owned Small Businesses in the CNMI

As part of its efforts to build entrepreneurial capacity among women in the CNMI, the CNMI Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the CNMI Womens’ Association recently partnered to provide a five-week training course to 20 women entrepreneurs. 

The women were able to learn about the CNMI SBDC network programs and services. In addition, the participants learned about the importance of having a business plan as well as how to create one.

Participants also learned about the financial aspects of starting or expanding a business. Financing opportunities were presented by Marie Coleman of the Commonwealth Economic Development Authority, Jesus Taisague of the Department of Commerce, and Vicente Agulto and Charmaine Hofschneider of Bank of Guam. 

New business owners were introduced to marketing strategies and current business owners learned more about expanding their reach through social media marketing. Valentina Rivera of Local Goodys shared her business’ goal to create a space for CNMI businesses to showcase and sell their products and services through her online website. 

Guest speakers Jill Arenovski of Saipan Snaps and Yeldez Javier of Kiara’s Gift Shop & Garden shared their experiences in opening and expanding their business in the CNMI to the participants.

During the final week of the program, the participants came together to share their business’ products and services as well as a reflection on the program’s successes. 

Kimberly Camacho, an aspiring business owner who completed the program, said that the project was an amazing learning experience.

“Working alongside courageous women is definitely empowering,” Camacho said.
“The material and presentations were super beneficial to the process and goal of business planning. Walking into the project, I had little to no experience on how to establish and run a business but after completing the project, I feel confident enough to start the journey to own my own business one day!”

The CNMI SBDC Network and the CWA thanks all guests, partners, and participants for their part in the success of the program. 

To register for free one-on-one counseling, please register at, email or call (670) 237-6888.  

The CNMI Small Business Development Center Network (CNMI SBDCN) is hosted by the Northern Marianas College. CNMI SBDCN is partially funded by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author (s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. Requests for reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Language assistance services are available for limited English proficient individuals with at least two weeks advance notice. For arrangements, please contact CNMI SBDC Network Director Nadine Deleon Guerrero at P.O.Box 501250 Saipan, MP 96950, Tel: (670) 237-6888, or email Services are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis.

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