Kūhana Business Program

Empowering ʻŌiwi Businesses


KCNHA hosts three KūHana Cohorts per year. If you are interested in applying to the next available cohort in 2024, please fill out the form below. If you have any questions, please reach out to the program manager, Max Mukai, at max@hawaiiancouncil.or

About KūHana

KūHana helps local and Hawaiian-owned entrepreneurs in the startup to early stages of development get clear on their business strategy by hosting a 8-week business plan development class with tools, technical assistance, and ample networking. Each business will walk away with a completed business plan, a polished business pitch, and collaboration opportunities with their fellow cohort participants. Prizes are awarded to top performing companies each cohort with either technical assistance, cash prizes, or other forms of capital.

Graduates of the program may be also eligible for a discounted rate for a business loan with CNHA as well as a one-year business membership with CNHA, as well as ongoing technical assistance services paid for in full or in part by CNHA.

If accepted the fee for this course is $250, with a 50% discount for applicants CNHA Business Membership.

*Partial Scholarships Available*

KūHana Spotlight

Since the first cohort, KūHana graduates were able to acquire the following forms of capital with the tools and strategies they learned in the program:





Private Equity


CNHA Business Loans


Pitch Competition Awards


PPP Loans


Technical Assistance


Mahalo to our funders and community partners for supporting our KūHana businesses by helping them set a kāhua on which to grow.

Meet the Graduates

KūHana Cohort 8 recently competed at the Native Hawaiian Convention, where the winners received a cash prize along with a technical assistance grant. Congrats to all the participating companies. Check their bios out here.

Featured Cohort

Cohort 1

Our inaugural cohort was made up or companies and entrepreneurs from across the pae ʻāina. They were the only cohort to have classes in person, and demonstrated their flexibility and resilience having to move to a virtual classroom.

Cohort 2

Right in the thick of lockdowns and uncertainty, cohort 2 rose to the occasion. They challenged themselves to look inward and to rely on one another for inspiration and support.

Cohort 3

A power pack of wahine owned businesses with two fearless kāne. This group of ʻōiwi and local-owned businesses really understood the meaning of lōkahi. New collaborations were born from this cohort.

Cohort 4

The battle of the cashflows! Cohort 4 really upped the competition, as they all prepared to participate in the Mahiʻai Scale-Up Competition hosted by Kamehameha Schools. These food system companies are true innovators in the economy and support us all in ways we cannot imagine.

Cohort 5

Another eclectic group of ʻōiwi-preneurs across several industries, from farming, music schools, and hand made accessories. A true reflection of the diversity of the lāhui.

Cohort 6

Cohort 6 is currently going through the wringer. They are working hard and already making progress. They will graduate from KūHana in March, where top performers will be invited to compete at the Mahiʻai Match-Up Competition hosted by Kamehameha Schools, where the top prize winners will receive an agricultural land or commercial property agreement to expand their company. We are proud to partner with KS to uplift our local food systems economy.

Cohort 8

Cohort 8 was the first KūHana cohort to be able to pitch in person. Top performing companies were able to present their businesses at the 21st annual Native Hawaiian Convention at the Sheraton Waikiki to a room full of supporters, judges, and their fellow KūHana participants.

Our Sponsors & Partners

U.S. Small Business Administration

Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement
with the U.S. Small Business Administration

Kamehameha Schools Logo
Sultan Ventures Logo
Sig Zane Designs Logo
SZK Logo
Spectrum logo
Kanaka Economic Development Alliance
Max Mukai

G. Max Mukai

G. Max Mukai is a Program Manager at CNHA. He was raised in the East Honolulu Kona District of Oʻahu – He is a proud graduate of Kamehameha Schools class of 2010 and attended Pepperdine University Seaver College undergraduate program and Graziadio School of Business & Management for his graduate program. His passions can be found at the intersection of Hawaiian culture and economic development.

What We Do

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Rent & Mortgage Relief

We can help you find the resources you need for your ʻohana to thrive -from mortage to utilities and assistance programs.

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Kilohana is a collaborative of complementary change agents committed to fulfilling HTA’s vision and specific directives.

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Community Programs

Our community programs work with members of our community to develop the skills and resources needed to thrive.

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Join Our Community

Become a CNHA member to get the opportunity to join other kānaka in lifting, empowering and inspiring our lāhui.

Join our mission and help us provide powerful support for our community to develop and thrive.