Hawaii Foundher

Hawaiʻi FoundHer is a new program ideated by minority women and run for minority women of Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Asian descent. Founded by Isabella Hughes and Gloria Lau and operated in partnership with Purple Maiʻa Foundation, the program accelerates five high-potential, woman-founded or co-founded businesses by providing research-tested resources that women need to succeed. 

Hawaiʻi FoundHer’s resources are specifically designed to empower local women of color starting small businesses from anywhere in Hawaiʻi including child and elder care support, a seed grant taking the place of a traditional friends and family round of funding, mentorship, business education, and access to a robust network of distributors, service providers, and consultants.

“Women and especially women of color are historically over-mentored and underfunded. The barriers to entry to build a new business with a clear path to profitability are increasingly more challenging and very few accelerators and incubators are designed to empower women entrepreneurs holistically. We are thrilled to offer a program focused on Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander women businesses that combines tailored mentorship with non-dilutive, early-stage capital to grow their business, coupled with support for those in caretaking roles, whether they have children or take care of their kūpuna.” – Bella Hughes, Shaka Tea

In its debut year, Hawaiʻi FoundHer’s review committee will select five small businesses in Tech, Fashion, Consumer Goods, Food System/Restaurants, and Keiki/Education. Purple Maiʻa’s goal is to help founders increase their confidence and grow their companies by 100-300% in the year they participate. 

“Hawaiʻi FoundHer is a groundbreaking program that will bring resources to female entrepreneurs in a way that has never been done before. Our multifaceted approach serves women personally and professionally, which will give them the tools they need to grow at an accelerated rate. I look forward to working with a group of passionate, driven women who are positively impacting Hawaiʻi’s culture and economy, and setting the stage for diverse women to take up space in the business world.” – Darien Siguenza, Program Manager

The 6-month program will begin in September ’21. Applications are currently posted on our website, and we encourage you to apply. Please contact darien@purplemaia.org if you have any questions.

Purple Mai’a Foundation’s mission is to educate and inspire the next generation of culturally grounded, community serving technology makers and problem solvers. From 2016-2020, PMF ran the Purple Prize, an Indigenous innovation incubator that catalyzed the creation of over 50 new technology ideas and a dozen companies including all run by Native Hawaiian women. You can learn more www.purplemaia.org and the Purple Prize at www.purpleprize.com.  

Image Credit: Hawaiʻi Foundher

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