From vocational training to higher education mentorship and homelessness prevention, the services delivered by the winners of the 10th annual Hogan Entrepreneurial Program and American Savings Bank Nonprofit Business Plan Competition are as diverse as the clients they serve.
But what they all share is a commitment to building a better Hawaii for everyone.
And now they have some additional support to do just that.
Chaminade University was proud to host a special ceremony on April 27 at the Clarence T.C. Ching Conference Center to announce the winners of the annual competition—designed to support innovative proposals in the public good and celebrate the contributions that nonprofits make to the community.
In all, the Hogan Entrepreneurial Program and American Savings Bank awarded $35,000 to nine Hawaii nonprofit organizations who participated in the competition this year. The first-place winner, Ho’ākeolapono Trades Academy and Institute, walked away with the $12,000 prize.
“We are so incredibly impressed by all of the Hawaii nonprofits who submitted proposals for the 2022 Nonprofit Business Plan Competition. It is clear they are embracing innovation as they seek to maximize their positive impact and help our communities thrive,” said Chaminade President Lynn Babington, PhD.
“For 10 years, this competition has showcased the ingenuity of Hawaii nonprofits, celebrated entrepreneurs who are driving positive change, and offered critical support to projects that have helped thousands of Hawaii residents overcome challenges and seek out new opportunities.”
Dr. Roy Panzarella, director of the Hogan Entrepreneurial Program, said socially-motivated entrepreneurship is a powerful tool in addressing some of the biggest issues facing Hawaii families.
“The Nonprofit Business Plan Competition is about pushing the envelope, embracing change and rewarding Hawaii organizations and leaders who are meeting community needs in new ways,” he said. “It is also about recognizing that we can accomplish great things when we all work together.”
In addition to all the competition’s finalists, attendees at the event included Hogan Entrepreneurial Program leadership, Dr. Babington and American Savings Bank Senior Vice President and Director of Community Advancement Michelle Bartell.
In their application, first-place winner Ho’ākeolapono Trades Academy and Institute laid out an ambitious proposal for delivering cutting-edge vocational training across high-demand trades, with a special focus on problem-solving and lifelong learning. The nonprofit is geared toward career technical secondary students and has already partnered with several public schools to deliver its programs.
They’re also teaming up with the community on construction projects, involving their student participants in hands-on efforts to make renovations to classrooms and install staircases and ramps. Looking ahead, they’re working to build a training hub on Hawaii Island and they want to launch a “refurbishing thrift shop” that will feature high-need household items restored by students.
“Ho’ākeolapono Trades Academy and Institute was designed to increase employment and advancement opportunities by providing participants with crucial building and construction knowledge and multidisciplinary, 21st-century trade skills,” the nonprofit wrote, in its business plan.
The second-place prize of $10,000 went to A’ALI’I Mentoring, a nonprofit that was formed to help students from underrepresented populations to navigate, persist and succeed in higher education. The organization offers one-on-one mentoring, scholarships, career development, community service activities and monthly group workshops on topics ranging from finances to communication.
“Transitioning from high school to post-secondary education remains a daunting challenge for many students,” the nonprofit said. “The support of a mentor, who can serve as a guide as well as a listener, can be an effective intervention in addressing low persistence rates of post-secondary education.”
The third-place winner was Family Promise of Hawaii, which provides services to homeless and low-income families. The nonprofit received $5,000 to help support its ‘Ohana Navigation Center, an innovative space seen as a hub for services, a gathering place, and a resource for supplies.
The center will even serve as a shelter space to temporarily house families.
“The project’s proposed design will include a child-friendly campus where families can access various supportive services created with input from Family Promise beneficiaries, staff and community partners,” the nonprofit said. They hope to serve 290 families a year at the center.
The fourth-place award of $3,000 went to nonprofit Hui Aloha ʻĀina Momona’s Ku’i’ai Accelerator project to provide quality wood to families and organizations so they can make taro pounding boards that will become heirlooms for future generations. The organization offers educational programs focused on food sustainability, local agricultural and indigenous farming and lifestyle practices.
In past competitions, judges chose eight finalists to compete for the top prize. Because of the amount of excellent business plans submitted, nine finalists were chosen this year.
The Five other nonprofit finalists also received $1,000 awards:
- Blue Ocean Warriors
- Kualoa Heeia Ecumenical Youth Project’s Living Library
- Kuilei Cliffs Restoration Project
- Ocean Alliance Project
- And Saferide Hawaii