December 28, 2020

Kaiser Permanente announces economic development grants

Funding will support community financial empowerment for Native Hawaiians and leadership development for women.

Hawaiian Community Assets takes a family-approach philosophy to services such as financial counseling sessions.

Contact: Laura M. Lott
808-343-2406 (mobile)

HONOLULU — Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has awarded a total of $190,000 in grant funding to 2 Hawaii organizations. A statewide $95,000 grant was awarded to Hawaiian Community Assets for financial education, housing counseling, and match savings grants to Native Hawaiians and local families. Separately, an additional $95,000 was awarded to the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business and Leadership and Mana Up.

“Financial empowerment and entrepreneurship are vital to the total health of Hawaii because they lead to economic opportunities for our communities,” said Greg Christian, president of Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Health Plan and Hospitals. “We are proud to partner with Hawaiian Community Assets, the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business and Leadership, and Mana Up to help lift up families, small businesses, and women.”

Hawaiian Community Assets’ financial education, housing counseling, and match savings grants programs aim to empower Native Hawaiian and local families by educating them about money management, credit, the rental and home buying process, and how to survive a financial emergency. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is a program co-funder, and along with Kaiser Permanente, will provide $2,000 in grants to match participating families’ savings.

“These funds will help us provide crucial resources for Native Hawaiian and local families who are facing hardship or are in a position to improve their economic self-sufficiency,” said Jeff Gilbreath, executive director of Hawaiian Community Assets. “Kaiser Permanente has been a long-time supporter of Hawaiian Community Assets and these funds will help put many families on the path to financial empowerment and stable housing.”

room with 2 people speaking at the front of an audience

Mana Up aims to accelerate local small business capacity through counseling, training, workshop, and mentoring opportunities.

The Patsy T. Mink Center for Business and Leadership and Mana Up’s The Mana Up Economic & Leadership Development Program is a collaborative effort to promote economic and leadership opportunities for women and small businesses. The goal is to accelerate local small business capacity through a variety of counseling, training, and mentorship opportunities for women business leaders and entrepreneurs.

The grant will fund Mana Up’s 6 month small-business accelerator program and robust alumni program, which currently boasts a total of 51 local companies; 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 employ 126,000 individuals and make up more than 99% of businesses in Hawaii,” said Mana Up co-founder Meli James. “With partners like the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business and Leadership and Kaiser Permanente, we can groom the next generation of local entrepreneurs and generate economic growth in Hawaii.”

Kaiser Permanente also hosts its own business leadership and incubator program for Hawaii companies in collaboration with the nationally acclaimed Initiative for a Competitive Inner City. In 2020, 95 Hawaii small businesses and nonprofit organizations participated in Kaiser Permanente’s ICIC training.

About Hawaiian Community Assets

Hawaiian Community Assets is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, HUD-approved housing counseling agency and community lending institution that builds the capacity of low- and moderate-income communities to achieve and sustain economic self-sufficiency with a particular focus on Native Hawaiians.

About Mana Up

Mana Up is a Hawaiʻi economic development initiative to expand opportunity, entrepreneurship and jobs, designed for local consumer brands. We help Hawaiʻi companies expand within Hawaiʻi and globally through a six-month accelerator and alumni program that curates workshops, executive mentorship, resources, sales opportunities, and a strong community of collaboration.

About The Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership (MCBL)

The Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership (MCBL) was established by YWCA O‘ahu, the U.S. Small Business Administration and a community of partners to become the only Women’s Business Center (WBC) in Hawai‘i. WBCs are designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses, and seek to “level the playing field” for women entrepreneurs who still face unique obstacles in the business world. MCBL is named in honor of Patsy T. Mink for her dedication to helping women through legislative reforms. She was a transformative leader and a national voice for gender equality, education, peace, and so much more.

About Kaiser Permanente

For 75 years, Kaiser Permanente has been committed to shaping the future of health and health care — and helping our members, patients, and communities experience more healthy years. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Since July 21, 1945, Kaiser Permanente’s mission has been to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.4 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health.