Bill Fuppull and Get Guam Teleworking
Bill Fuppul used to work in cargo for Continental Airlines. Today he is a self-employed translator and interpreter with clients that include the Guam Dept. of Education and the Guam Dept. of Rehabilitation. He retooled his work life with the help of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of Guam, the Guam alternative financing program for AT (GOAL AT), and most recently Get Guam Teleworking.
Fuppul's new career is a good match for his skills, abilities and the needs of his community. Several years ago he had an electrical accident that resulted in paraplegia. With the help of the SBDC and its partnership with the loan programs, however, Fuppul spun his language skills into an entrepreneurial opportunity that addresses a deep community need: English translation and interpreter services to help reach Guam's Chuukese immigrants.
"One of my first clients was the Dept. of Education, special education. They needed their parent's rights brochure in Chuukese. I created that for them." A native of Chuuk (an island in Micronesia), Fuppul is literate and fluent in both Chuukese and English; he also speaks Pohnpaien, another Micronesian language.
Many Chuukese natives come to Guam for better economic and educational opportunities, so Guam's public services need Bill's translation skills. The SBDC helped him create a business plan and acquire a business license. Through GOAL AT Bill acquired his first computer in 2007. Through Get Guam Teleworking, he upgraded that hardware in 2010.
GOAL AT provides financial loans to eligible applicants with disabilities (or family members) who are looking to purchase AT. Telework has a much smaller target: eligible applicants with disabilities who need equipment in order to "telecommute" (work from home or a telework center) through an employer or as a self-employed small business owner. In FFY10 Get Guam Teleworking made five loans. Bill, having paid off his original loan and already self-employed, was an ideal applicant.
Telework approved a $2,000 loan for a faster laptop equipped with Microsoft Office plus a wireless printer/fax and router. The faster computer meant Bill could take on larger projects and more clients. Once equipped, his first new job was a 48 page translation for the Guam Dept. of Education. "I could not have taken the job without the new computer," he says. And thanks to the wireless router and printer, he was able to complete the project easily from his wheelchair and bed.
Asked how the new loan has impacted his life, Fuppul told ATPN that these days he is enjoying the benefits of a solid credit rating (he provided a nice Christmas for his family) and is now considering how to market his Chuukese translation services beyond Guam. It frustrates him, he says, to see such poor translations on Hawaiian Web sites. Need an English-to-Chuukese translator? Email Bill Fuppul
Get Guam Teleworking Nuts and Bolts:
* Get Guam Teleworking is administered by the Guam Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (Guam CEDDERS)
* Loans made in 2010: 5
* Loans Guaranteed? Yes
* Loan range: $100 to $5000 (may exceed in certain circumstances)
* Rate/term: currently 2.125% for up to 5 years (longer terms may be approved by the Loan Board)
* Average income of applicants: $16,386/year
* Bank partner: Pacific Island Microcredit Institute