Darryl Mleynek is the incumbent state director of the Hawaii SBDC Network, specializing in consultation and training for existing and starting small businesses in the State. In 2000, he became the recipient of the SBA Financial Small Business Advocate of the Year Award for his contributions to public service.

Mleynek and the SBDC help write business plans, get financing, do business research and the like for Hawaii entrepreneurs. In this interview, he talks about his and the Hawaii SBDC Network’s role in uplifting the small business environment in the State.

“I think small business people are working in situations where they work in front of their knowledge in the sense that they have to stretch,” Mleynek says. “They’re making decisions when they don’t have sufficient information and it’s the nature of being in business because you don’t have the time and ways to get all the information, yet you’re in the position to make the decision and you’re going to live with the consequences of those decisions.”

“On one side it’s very exciting, it’s always a learning experience, and it can be difficult,” he added.

Listen now as Mleynek explains how the SBDC can get your business off the ground.

Darryl Mleynek
Biographical Statement

Since 1994, Darryl Mleynek has been the State Director of the Hawai`i Small Business Development Center Network, which is a program of the University of Hawai`i at Hilo that is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Hawai`i SBDC Network, a statewide program with offices on the four major islands, engages in economic development with new and established small businesses through consulting, training, and advocacy.

The achievements of the Hawai`i SBDC Network were recognized in 1998 when it was presented with the Hawai`i State Award of Excellence. In 1999, it received a national Outstanding Economic Development Project Award from the National Association of Management and Technical Assistance Centers for a $23.7 million grant program it administered. The Hawai`i SBDC Network was accredited in 1998 and again in 2002.

Mleynek was recognized by the SBA in 2000 for his contributions to public service when he was presented with the SBA Financial Small Business Advocate of the Year Award for Hawai`i State and SBA Region IX, which also includes Arizona, California, and Nevada. Additionally, Mleynek has been recognized with Resolutions passed by the Hawai`i State Senate and House of Representatives.

Prior to becoming the State Director in 1994, Mleynek was a consultant with the Hawai`i SBDC Network and taught in the College of Business and Economics at the University of Hawai`i at Hilo, beginning in 1990. His background also includes owning and operating three different small businesses on the mainland over a 17-year period. One of these businesses was a publicly owned high technology company, which he founded. Mleynek has two Masters Degrees, one of which is an MBA.

Hawaii Small Business Development Center

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