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.

An array of federal, state and county programs offer support services, financial incentives, loan programs and grants to new or expanding businesses in Maui County.  In addition, entrepreneurs can enlist the resources of a private-sector financial community, economic development agencies, venture capitalists and angel investors.

    federal resources

    U.S. Small Business Administration offers technical, financial and contracting assistance, including special programs for veterans, women, minorities and young entrepreneurs.

    U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) helps to keep America’s farmers and ranchers in business and ensure that the nation’s commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe, wholesome, and properly labeled.

    U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA works directly with local economic development officials to make grant investments that are well-defined, timely, and linked to a long-term, sustainable economic development strategy.

    state resources

    The Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, the state’s major business development agency, focuses on 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.  See Hawaii Business Express for online business registration and other tools and information.

    High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) facilitates the development and growth of Hawaii’s commercial high technology industry. It provides key resources to help develop and retain high tech in Hawaii.  HTDC’s Maui Research and Technology Center focuses on developing the state’s high tech industry.

    The Small Business Development Center -Maui Center (SBDC), offers advice, training and resources; and the Business Research Library, which provides data analysis and research for entrepreneurs and small companies.

    Hawaii Angels 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.

    Service Corp of Retired Executives (SCORE), Hawaii Chapter provides small business plan preparation and business advice. SCORE counselors are real-world professionals with time-tested knowledge who donate thousands of hours to help small businesses succeed.

    The University of Hawaii’s Office of Technology Transfer and Economic Development (OTTED) is responsible for the management of intellectual property assets developed at the University of Hawai‘i and the transfer of new technology to broader public use through our commercial partners. They seek relationships with entrepreneurs, businesses, and investors to expand opportunities for the development and utilization of new technologies created through research and scholarship.

    Learn about State Incentive Programs for businesses in Hawaii.

    county resources

    Maui County Office of Economic Development (OED)  works in partnership with the community, business and government sectors to 1. Strengthen and diversify the economy by supporting existing businesses; and 2. Assisting in the attraction, development and expansion of new businesses and events that will in turn provide new jobs for our community.

    • Maui County Business Resource Center serves as an entrepreneurial resource for new or existing business owners who need business assistance for operations within Maui County.
    • Molokai Kuha’o Business Center  serve as an advocate and vehicle of empowerment for Molokai’s families to achieve both individually and collectively financial independence and abundance in the formation of healthy and sustainable businesses.

    Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) is a non-profit organization created in 1982 to focus on diversification of Maui County’s economy and assisting startup and existing businesses with navigating and thriving in our community. Its menu of services include business planning, education and workforce development, site location and assistance with government programs.

    Maui Economic Opportunity (MEO) Business Development Center (BDC) provides microenterprise loans, business planning classes, and consultation services.  It’s six week Core Four business planning course is offered on Maui, Lanai and Molokai.

    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 Maui Food Innovation Center at UH Maui College provides business and technological expertise to food and agricultural entrepreneurs. Its Maui Accelerator Program (MAP) is the first food-industry business accelerator program of its kind.

    Maui County Farm Bureau is a grassroots 501(c)(5) organization of farms and ranch families, agricultural industries, and associated organizations dedicated to supporting agriculture in Maui County. Affiliated with both the statewide Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation and the American Farm Bureau.

    Hawai‘i Farmers Union United is affiliated with the National Farmers Union and is recognized and respected as a voice for farmers, ranchers, and fishermen throughout the Hawai‘ian Islands.