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SURE program reaches out to local entrepreneurs


Accounting professor Saleha Khumawala started the SURE program to help aspiring, local entrepreneurs. | Courtesy of Saleha Khumawala

Saleha Khumawala has plans.

As an accounting professor and founding director of a non-profit management and microfinance program, Khumawala recently added a component that will make the micro-finance program at the C. T. Bauer College of Business more appealing to entrepreneurs.

Stimulating Urban Renewal through Entrepreneurship (SURE) is a program serving aspiring local entrepreneurs by providing financial and business education and access to capital.

“The Bauer students act as mentors, tutors and consultants as they help these entrepreneurs prepare a business plan for a future or existing business,” Khumawala said. “Students are fully engaged and this enhances and empowers by building capacity.”

Divided into four components — entrepreneur, incubator, boot camp and accelerator — Bauer students that take Khumawala’s course, Principles of Micro-finance, work with entrepreneurs from under-served communities in Houston.

The micro-finance program is free for entrepreneurs who have a business idea and are under-served by form of financial sector, meaning they are unable to obtain a loan from a traditional bank.

“We help (entrepreneurs) find access to capital by providing small loans,” Khumawala said.

Benefits to the students include the development of soft skills such as communication, critical thinking, collaboration and leadership as well as experimental learning, reinforced by integrating all business disciplines. They will learn the meaning of social entrepreneurship and develop ideas about application of this concept.

“Our goal for the future is take the SURE program and implement it in all cities across the United States,” Khumawala said.

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