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Hawai‘i Investment Ready to report on its impact on Hawai‘i’s economy

Training also included a huaka‘i (field trip) to Pu‘u Kali‘u in Puna. Pictured are HIR’s first cohort members, Kapalikū Schirman of Hui Kū Maoli Ola, Keoni Lee of ‘Ōiwi T.V., Neil Hannahs of Kamehameha Schools, Hi‘ilei Kawelo of Paepae o He‘eia, and Alan Lovewell of Local Catch.

The first cohort of HIR gain presentation skills and techniques from Michael Duarte of Resonate Communications. The training was conducted and funded through the program to help the social entrepreneurs create effective presentations relating to their businesses.

Poni and Brandon Askew, owners of Street Grinds and operator of Eat the Street and the Honolulu Night Market are participants of HIR’s first cohort.

Lisa Kleissner, of KL Felicitas Foundation, speaks to over 200 community members, entrepreneurs and investors at the 2013 HIR cohort enterprise pitches at Kamehameha Schools campus.

Kamehameha Schools, KL Felicitas Foundation and Social Impact International have partnered to create Hawai‘i Investment Ready (HIR), a facilitated peer-to-peer learning program designed to support the sustainability of island social enterprises, statewide.

“HIR’s goal is to share strategies and raise resources to empower Hawai‘i’s social entrepreneurs – for and not for profit – with relevant skills to enable them to scale their enterprise and increase their impact as local business owners in Hawai‘i,” said Lisa Kleissner,  President of the KL Felicitas Foundation and co-leader of the Hawai‘i Investment Ready program.

Each cohort, recruited bi-annually, is afforded an opportunity to participate in this capacity-building program sharing best practices in financial, social, environmental and cultural sustainability.

The program is concluding its second year, and six of the fifteen small and growing enterprises that participated are preparing to share the social impacts their operations had on Hawai‘i as a result of the HIR experience. All six reports will be presented on Wednesday, November 19th at the Kamehameha Schools’ Ka‘iwakīloumoku Hawaiian Cultural Center located on its Kapālama campus.

“These modern-day businesses are addressing poverty, at-risk youth, poor nutrition, sustainable resource harvest, Hawaiian culture and language normalization, the development of sustainable enterprise for island living and more,” said Kleissner.

Social enterprises like Hui Kū Maoli Ola – specializing in native habitat restoration and landscaping – and the well-known Street Grindz, which operates Honolulu Night Market and Eat the Street, the largest food truck rally in Honolulu, are both members of the first cohort, and both have enterprises on Kamehameha Schools’ lands.

“We are tremendously impressed by the leadership emerging in communities across Hawai‘i and are grateful that many operate social enterprises on our land or have a business focus that is aligned with the KS mission.  We have provided resources through Hawai‘i Investment Ready to support their professional development, but some of the most valuable lessons came from the inspiring life stories and values of these amazing individuals,” said Neil Hannahs, director of Kamehameha Schools’ Land Assets Division.

With a mission to enable social entrepreneurs worldwide to grow economically, sustainable, scalable enterprises, Social Impact International and KL Felicitas Foundation along with Kamehameha Schools, will begin recruiting for the second cohort in January 2015.

Interested investors, prospective participants, entrepreneurs, bankers, educators and anyone curious about the program and its benefits are encouraged to attend the cohort presentation event titled, Scaling Social Enterprise in Hawai‘i. The event takes place Wednesday, November 19th at the Kamehameha Schools Kapālama campus’ Ka‘iwakīloumoku Hawaiian Culture Center.

When: November 19th, 2014
Where: The Kamehameha Schools, Kapalama Heights, Ka‘iwakīloumoku – Ululani Hale 
Time: 2:15 to 4:00PM

Neil Hannahs, Kamehameha Schools, Land Asset Division
Gary and Kūkui Maunakea-Forth, MA'O Organic Farms
Rick Barboza and Kapalikū Schirman, Hui Kū Maoli Ola
Poni and Brandon Askew, Street Grindz
Alan Lovewell, Local Catch
Stacy Sproat-Beck and Johanna Ventura, Waipā Foundation
Kū and ‘I‘ini Kahakalau, KU-A-KANAKA
Lisa Kleissner, Hawai‘i Investment Ready

About Hawai‘i Investment Ready
Hawai‘i Investment Ready (HIR) is a facilitated peer-to-peer learning program designed for island social enterprises. HIR’s goal is to convene strategies and resources to empower Hawai‘i’s social entrepreneurs with relevant skills to enable them to scale their enterprises and increase their impact.

KL Felicitas Foundation
A private family foundation, co-founded by Charly and Lisa Kleissner, the KL Felicitas Foundation is considered a global innovator in Impact Investing and Capacity Building of social enterprise. Lisa is a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools and the University of Hawai‘i. As President of the foundation, Lisa is a frequent speaker, advocate, teacher and author on topics related to leveraged and holistic approaches to philanthropy and impact investing.  They are the recent recipients of the BNP Paribas Grand Prix Award for their work in impact investing.

About Social-Impact International
Social-Impact International is an incubator of incubators and accelerators globally capacity building social enterprise. Most recently, Dasra in Mumbai, India, one of the programs they incubated, was named as one of 10 top innovators by New Philanthropy Capital in the UK in 2014.

About Kamehameha Schools
Kamehameha Schools is a private, educational, charitable trust founded and endowed by the legacy of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. Kamehameha Schools operates a statewide educational system enrolling over 6,900 students of Hawaiian ancestry at K-12 campuses on O`ahu, Maui and Hawai`i and 30 preschool sites statewide. Over 40,400 additional Hawaiian learners and caregivers are served each year through a range of other Kamehameha Schools’ outreach programs, community collaborations and financial aid opportunities in Hawai`i and across the continental United States. Income generated from its Hawai`i real estate, as well as diverse investments, fund the Schools’ educational mission almost entirely. For more information, please visit