Maui Business

Kaiser Permanente Awards $190,000 in Grants to Two Hawaiʻi Organizations

December 21, 2020, 1:48 PM HST
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Hawaiian Community Assets helps Native Hawaiians and local families with financial education, housing counseling and match savings grants. Photo Courtesy: Hawaiian Community Assets.

Kaiser Permanente Hawaiʻi awarded a statewide $95,000 grant to Hawaiian Community Assets for financial education, housing counseling and match savings grants to Native Hawaiians and local families. It also awarded a $95,000 grant to The Patsy T. Mink Center for Business and Leadership in partnership with Mana Up.

“Financial empowerment and entrepreneurship are vital to the total health of Hawaiʻi because they lead to economic opportunities for our communities,” said Greg Christian president, Hawaiʻi Market Kaiser Permanente, Health Plan and Hospitals. “We are proud to partner with Hawaiian Community Assets, the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business and Leadership, and Mana Up to help lift up families, small businesses and women.”

Hawaiian Community Assets’ financial education, housing counseling and match savings grants programs aim to empower Native Hawaiian and local families by educating them about money management, credit, the rental and home buying process, and how to survive a financial emergency.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is a program co-funder, and with Kaiser Permanente, will provide $2,000 in grants to match participating families’ savings.

“These funds will help us provide crucial resources for Native Hawaiian and local families who are facing hardship or are in a position to improve their economic self-sufficiency,” said Jeff Gilbreath, executive director of Hawaiian Community Assets. “Kaiser Permanente has been a long-time supporter of Hawaiian Community Assets and these funds will help put many families on the path to financial empowerment and stable housing.”

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The Patsy T. Mink Center for Business and Leadership and Mana Up’s The Mana Up Economic & Leadership Development Program is a collaborative effort to promote economic and leadership opportunities for women and small businesses. The goal is to accelerate local small business capacity through a variety of counseling, training and mentorship opportunities for women business leaders and entrepreneurs.

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The grant will fund Mana Up’s 6-month small business accelerator program and robust alumni program, currently with 51 local companies; and a 10-month professional development and leadership training program for 20 emerging women leaders. Kaiser Permanente’s grant will provide 8,000 hours of economic development counseling and mentorship and support 40 women leaders and small business owners.

“Small businesses employ 126,000 individuals and make up more than 99 percent of businesses in Hawaiʻi,” said Mana Up co-founder Meli James. “With partners like The Patsy T. Mink Center for Business and Leadership and Kaiser Permanente, we can groom the next generation of local entrepreneurs and generate economic growth in Hawaiʻi.”

Kaiser Permanente also hosts its own business leadership and incubator program for Hawaiʻi companies in collaboration with the nationally acclaimed Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC). In 2020, 95 Hawaiʻi small businesses and non-profit organizations participated in Kaiser Permanente’s ICIC training.

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