MBB Members Attend 2015 Hui Holomua Business Fest
More than 400 entrepreneurs, including Maui Business Brainstormers members, attended the Hui Holomua 9th Business Fest on Oct. 30, 2015, at the Grand Wailea Resort & Spa, an annual, full-day conference organized by Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce.
The Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce created the Annual Business Fest in 2006 as a forum for combining Hawaiian culture, values and business education to make Maui a better place for all.
MNHCoC mission is “to promote and sustain Hawaiian values and culture, and enhance the socio-economic status of Native Hawaiians in business and as individuals.”
The event offers also exposure opportunities to its members.
And for the fourth consecutive year, MBB was offered a complimentary exhibit table. MBB, a nonprofit think-tank group created to help local entrepreneurs, strongly supported this year’s Business Fest because of its conservation, sustainability and cultural theme.
MNHCoC supported MBB initiatives since 2012, when the organization had only 10 members.
Reflecting on the journey to build MBB strength and credibility, Grace Fung, a voluntary organizer with MBB who became a business member of MNHCoC. said that MNHCoC’s support attracted the interest of other supportive organizations.
“I had the opportunity to learn more about MNHCoC via MBB,” said Fung. “The friendly energy of its members, the team-player spirit, and the forward vision of its voluntary leadership team naturally pulled me in.”
Today, with more than 800 members, MBB still values MNHCoC’s continuing support. And in return, MBB is enthusiastic in supporting MNHCoC events such as the annual Business Fest.
“Sustainability as well as environmental and conservation matters must be top-of-mind for everyone,”said Fung, “To help ourselves and our future generations, we need to refocus our values on rebuilding a more sustainable world for our and next-door communities.”
“MNHCoC nailed it,” Fung added. “All stakeholder groups and sectors need to be on the same page, working together at the micro to macro levels to promote a clear and deeper understanding of the need to change—urgently—lifestyle patterns and human behavior.”
A record number of MBB members and supporters attended this year’s Business Fest.
“The first time I attended an event organized by MNHCoC, it was because of MBB,” said Nicole Fisher of Skywriting by… Nico, a provider of social media marketing services to small business owners and professionals. “I loved it so much that I have applied for MNHCoC membership.”
“What a uniquely wonderful day demonstrating that Hawaiian values are good for business,” said Wayne Wong, Hawai‘i Small Business Development Center director – Maui, and an MBB member. “Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce assembled an impressive array of inspiring speakers and panelists. It reminded us that we are already culturally rooted in conservation, sustainability, and a culture of relationships and those values are good for business.”
“It was a great experience for us. It’s really an exciting thing to be a part of, and the Business Fest provided me an opportunity to discuss that with the thought leaders in Maui’s business community,” said Buck Joiner of Maui Makers, a nonprofit group.
Joiner admits that since Maui Makers is a new concept, it takes some time for people to catch on to the idea, and the concept of why it is fundamentally important to build up an entrepreneurial business base on Maui.
“I had a really great discussion with the mayor,” said Joiner. “He was really intrigued by the capacity of Maui Makers to act as a business incubator for small businesses on Maui.”
“As Native Hawaiians ourselves, we had the opportunity to participate at the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce Business Fest,” said first-time business fest participants Jacob and Stephanie Adolpho of Island Baby Bug Spray. “We received an overwhelming amount of support and interest for Island Baby Bug Spray. The MNHCoC members and attendees showed their support by buying all of our bottles that we brought to the event! It was such a blessing to be a part of such a positive and educating conference.”
“HPEC has benefited from this year’s MNHCoC event with fabulous exposure to the HPEC’s mission,” said MNHCoC business member Jenny Chan Takemoto of the Hawai‘i Pacific Export Council. “As a direct impact of participating, we had the opportunity to provide education and to promote export opportunities to the makers and shakers in our Maui County business community.”
“Commercial interest prevails in Hawai‘i—too often, with little regard for pono,” said Robert Wintner of Snorkel Bob’s and a business member of MNHCoC. “As a reef tourism company dependent on reef habitat and species, Snorkel Bob’s has declined affiliation with any civic commercial group until now. We’re proud to be part of the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce and grateful that this organization opens its arms to us and our mana‘o.”
“The world is changing, and host-culture values may ensure long-term success to Hawai‘i businesses,” Wintner said. “It’s time to take care of the golden goose rather than continue the gutting in search of golden eggs. It’s time to look back as we look ahead. We must move past the short-term bottom line and see Hawai‘i as a non-renewable resource.”
Wintner said the Aloha State is still remiss in preventing the depletion of habitat and species for the benefit of a few—especially when extraction benefits accrue to mainland interests. Wintner and Snorkel Bob’s have advocated a ban on the aquarium trade in Hawai‘i for many years.
For more information about MBB, go online.