Small business and the entrepreneurial spirit thrive in Hawaii – over 90 percent of the state’s employers are small businesses. Maui offers a range of resources to create a successful business, including:
Starting and growing a business in Maui is easy with the help of federal, state and county programs that offer business support services, financial incentives, loan programs and grants. In addition, entrepreneurs can enlist the resources of a strong private-sector financial community, economic development agencies, venture capitalists and angel investors.
A range of business support programs is available, including:
The Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, the state’s major business development agency, focuses business development, expansion and retention; business finance and export development.
The Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs provides business registration, professional and vocational licensing, consumer advocacy and compliance services.
State agencies offer the following resources:
The Maui Small Business Development Center Network oversees the Maui Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which offers advice, training and resources; and the Business Research Library, which provides data analysis and research for entrepreneurs and small companies.
Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) is an economic development agency that provides assistance with workforce and technology development, business financing, site location and government programs.
Service Corp of Retired Executives, Hawaii Chapter provides small business plan preparation and business advice.
Maui County Office of Economic Development focuses on business development and expansion.
Hawaii Angels, Maui Chapter is an angel investor group that funds start-up and early stage companies.
Hawaii Venture Capital Association is a non-profit organization that promotes entrepreneurial development through networking and educational opportunities as well as access to venture capital.
U.S. Small Business Administration offers technical, financial and contracting assistance, including special programs for veterans, women, minorities and young entrepreneurs.
The University of Hawaii – Maui College offers degree, certificate and workforce training programs on campus and through distance learning centers that utilize the latest technology. UH Maui is also home to the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui, which aims to foster sustainable, innovative methods of community development and management.
The University of Hawaii’s Office of Technology Transfer and Economic Development (OTTED) is renowned for its innovations in agricultural, biological, medical, engineering and physical sciences. OTTED works to turn these innovations into products with its Technology Licensing Group, which markets and licenses the university-developed technologies. The Maui Research and Technology Center focuses on developing the state’s high tech industry.
Doing business internationally in Maui is easy. The islands’ location midway between the continental U.S. and Asia and the Pacific Rim nations offers easy access and overlapping business hours with a variety of markets. The Kahului and Honolulu International Airports offer extensive flight services and the Kahului Commercial Harbor provides shipping access across the Pacific Ocean.
Global trade resources include:
Hawaii’s International Export Program (IEP) focuses on exporting sustainable infrastructure technologies and related services to Asia-Pacific markets. The program targets energy, environmental and engineering-related technologies.
The state’s Office of International Affairs (OIA) focuses on international business development.