The Guma Process

There are many talented artists and cultural producers on Guam who are at varying stages of the retail product value chain. This includes jewelry makers, carvers, artists, chefs, and fabric designers to name a few. Their work can be seen at art shows, crafts fairs, and cultural gatherings. The GUMA program is designed to assist individuals in three primary areas:

  • Local artists, cultural producers or entrepreneurs with innovative, marketable and high-potential concepts.
  • Existing cultural producers with products who require support in business development, production, packaging, and/or branding.
  • Cultural producers with marketable products but with little or no access to the retail market.

Interested artists or cultural producers must first fill out an application to join the GUMA program and must attend the GUMA Training and Entrepreneurial Program held at the Small Business Development Council training room at the University of Guam’s School of Business and Public Administration. The training is completely free of charge. This 16-week course features business basics, branding, marketing, finance, and product development in a classroom-style training regimen. Participants learn how to develop and operate a successful small business through the creation of a customized business plan tailored to their products.

Upon graduation, participants can elect to apply for further assistance through the GUMA Business Incubator Program. This program provides grant funds to aid in business start-ups for selected training program graduates. Selection and evaluation criteria are based on product concept, production capability, marketability, financial feasibility, and applicant prior experience to name a few. Each application is individually reviewed and scored. The highest-ranked applicants are invited to make presentations to an evaluation panel from which final selections and offers for funding are decided.

Incubator Businesses are then assisted in developing their businesses and are launched on October 1st of each year and are tracked for up to three years. GUMA provides analysis and support to ensure that the business continues on a successful track.

Download Application Form for GUMA Training and Mentoring Program