Promoting Economic Development on the Hawaiian Islands

Categories:
Families, Jobs/ Employment, Native Americans, Small Business Development

Malia Sanchez (fourth person on the left), was awarded the 2012 Small Business Association Women in Business Champion of the YeaSince 1988, the Administration for Native Americans has collaborated with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs on the Native Hawaiian Revolving Loan Fund.  We have disbursed 2,200 loans valued at $51 million to Native Hawaiians to build businesses, fund home improvements, fund tuition and improve their credit. 

In 2008, the Fund initiated several unique strategic partnerships. First Hawaiian Bank markets and services the OHA Malama loans (a $100,000 loan maximum), and Pacific Rim Bank helps manage the larger Hua Kanu loans ($1 million loan maximum).  In partnership with Hawaiian-based business consultants, we build capacity by providing credit counseling, business plan training, and other business consulting services to help our Native Hawaiian borrowers succeed.  Our borrowers have many success stories:

  • Heather Manuel worked as an airline attendant for 19 years but an injury prevented her from continuing to fly.  Thanks to an OHA business plan class and OHA Malama loan, she now owns and operates two successful pet-setting and grooming operations. Learn about her story here: Tails of Hawaii.
  • Keola Rapozo always dreamed of being a fashion designer, but without the OHA Malama loan he would not have had the capital to pursue his dream. See how his world changed: Fitted Hawaii.     
  • Malia Sanchez had all the tools to make people feel and look great. When she envisioned teaching this to others, OHA's Mālama Loan program was there to help Malia build the foundation for her academy.  In 2012, the SBA recognized her for Women in Business Champion of the Year of the City and County of Honolulu. Check out her Makana Esthetics Wellness Academy

In 2012, the SBA also named Kalaka Nui, Inc. “Small Business Subcontractor of the Year.” Kalaka Nui is a trucking company with expertise in demolition and civil site work.  Jeni Ka’ohelauli’I of Work It Out also won “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” for Kaua’i County. Her store sells exercise clothing, shoes and accessories.


Lillian Sparks, a Lakota woman of the Rosebud and Oglala Sioux Tribes, is the Commissioner of the Administration of Native Americans.  Ms. Sparks was confirmed by the United States Senate as the Commissioner on March 3, 2010, and was sworn in on March 5, 2010.  She has devoted her career to supporting the educational pursuits of Native American students, protecting the rights of indigenous people, and empowering tribal communities

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