Kūhana Business Program

Empowering ʻŌiwi Businesses




KūHana Cohort 13 applications are due by June 10, 2024. 

Please note, this written application is one of a two step process. If your written application is accepted, there will be a follow up Zoom interview as a required part of the evaluation.

Final determination and notifications will sent out by June 21, 2024. 

If accepted into Cohort 13, the program will start on June 25, 2024. The fee for this course is $250, with a 50% discount for applicants CNHA Business Membership. *Partial scholarships are available*

If you have any questions, please reach out to the program manager, Max Mukai, at max@hawaiiancouncil.org

Hana helps local and Hawaiian-owned entrepreneurs in early to mid stages of development get clear on their business strategy by hosting an 8-week business plan development class with all the tools and technical assistance needed to create a plan. Their business plans help set up these companies to go after the funding they need to implement their plans and achieve their business goals. Each business will walk away with a completed business plan, a polished business pitch, and collaborative opportunities to work with their fellow cohort participants. 

Prizes are awarded to the 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.

KūHana Spotlight

Since the first cohort, KūHana graduates were able to acquire the following forms of capital with the business plans they created in the accelerator program:

Total funding acquired




Traditional Bank Loan


Private Equity investment




social finance loan


Business Competition Awards




Line of credit


About KūHana

Meet the Graduates

KūHana Cohort 8 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-owned businesses. 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 took the competition to the next level, 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.

Cohort 5

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

Cohort 6

Cohort 6 participated in another Mahiʻai Match-Up Competition hosted by Kamehameha Schools, where the top performing companies received 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 7

Only in KūHana can you find all kanaka-owned businesses from across all sectors, from counseling to catering, and everything in between, even towing & hauling.

Cohort 8

Cohort 8 was the first KūHana cohort to be able to pitch at an in-person event. 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.

Cohort 9

Cohort 9 had an opportunity to work with Spectrum Reach to promote their businesses across Spectrum’s many marketing channels.

Cohort 10

Cohort 10 proved that with a good idea and a determination to grow, Hawaiʻi, our home, can be an amazing place to do business.

Cohort 11

Cohort 11 represented many sectors, from fashion, athletics, farming, counseling, and childcare.

Cohort 12

Cohort 12 highlighted the fact that if you mean business here in Hawaiʻi, it means you’re working with your ʻohana. It was amazing to uplift ʻohana-run companies.

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.