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The Memorial Student Center was brimming with small business owners and entrepreneurs attending the Governor’s Small Business Forum at Texas A&M on Aug. 15. Entrepreneurs from Houston to Dallas traveled to College Station to learn how to improve their business and network with one another at the day-long seminar hosted by Mays Business School’s Center for New Ventures & Entrepreneurship (CNVE).

The morning of the forum began with a presentation by Hope Andrade, commissioner of the Texas Workforce Commission. She informed attendees of the many services the Texas Workforce Commission offers and how they can use these resources to grow their business.

After the initial welcome and presentation, the forum guests broke into different presentation sessions that covered topics such as the relationship between exports and small businesses, and social media. The participants came together during lunch to listen to Texas Secretary of State Nandita Berry, the forum’s keynote speaker. She shared her inspiring story of how she became Secretary of State and the valuable position that small businesses hold in the Texas economy.

Berry joined Richard Lester, director of the CNVE, in presenting the State of Texas Small Business Awards. The recipients were Seed Sumo, T3 Multisports, Study On Board and Love Lemonade. The awards are intended to recognize and identify small businesses that have demonstrated best practices and have provided growth and development opportunities within the State of Texas.

After lunch, attendees broke out into sessions that focused on marketing for small businesses or important legal issues for small business owners. The final session of the day consisted of a combined financial panel during which forum attendees could ask questions to a group of prominent business leaders and professors.

The forum ended with a networking reception filled with speakers, attendees and exposition vendors. Many of the forum guests remarked upon the multiple opportunities to interact with other business owners and the high caliber of speakers.


Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.