Grant supports women leaders and entrepreneurs

Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has awarded a $50,000 community benefit grant to the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business and Leadership in partnership with Mana Up. The grant supports a collaborative effort between the organizations to promote economic and leadership opportunities for women and small businesses.

The Mink Center for Business and Leadership, along with Mana Up, will provide a variety of counseling, training, and mentorship opportunities for women business leaders and entrepreneurs. The grant will fund 2 cohorts, totaling 20 businesses, in Mana Up’s 12-week small business accelerator program; and a 10-month professional development and leadership training program for 20 emerging women leaders. Altogether, 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 are the lifeblood of Hawaii’s economy. When they succeed, communities thrive,” said Dave Underriner, regional president for Kaiser Permanente in Hawaii. “Supporting diversity in business, especially among women and minority entrepreneurs, is vitally important to the total health of our state. We’re proud to partner with the Mink Center for Business Leadership, Mana Up, and other organizations to provide business development and leadership opportunities to local small businesses.”

Small businesses employ 126,000 individuals and make up more than 99% of businesses in Hawaii, yet Hawaii is ranked as one of the worst states for small businesses. Further, women continue to face challenges obtaining leadership positions, despite the fact that they make up half the U.S. population and earn 60% of all undergraduate and master’s degrees. A 2018 grant from Kaiser Permanente to the Mink Center for Business Leadership supported 31 small businesses, which were able to increase revenue and provide 271 local jobs.

This is just one of many business development opportunities supported by Kaiser Permanente. The health care organization recently introduced the Inner City Capital Connections to Hawaii, a leadership training program that provides local small businesses and nonprofit organizations with strategies and tools to ensure long-term growth and viability. This amazing professional and business development opportunity, sometimes referred to as a no-cost “mini MBA” program for established small businesses, will provide tuition-free training, education, and mentorship to organizations across the state. The nomination period is now open for local businesses and nonprofits to be part of the ICCC cohort convening October 3, 2019. Visit Self-nominations are also accepted.


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