FoundHer announces the second batch of women-led businesses from Native Hawaiian and AAPI

FoundHer announces the second batch of women-led businesses from Native Hawaiian and AAPI


September 11, 2022, 3:24 PM HST

Darren Seguenza, Director of Programs, FoundHer.

FoundHer, an accelerator dedicated to supporting Native Hawaiian and AAPI women entrepreneurs, has announced the five women-led companies in the 2022/23 cohort.

“We are excited to start another year of FoundHer and raise the bar for these five women in the Native Hawaiian and AAPI community of entrepreneurs,” said FoundHer Director Darien Siguenza. “We are proud to release this second collection that shows how Hawaii is at the forefront of innovation towards equity in accelerators as we begin to expand beyond Hawaii into the continental United States.”

In June 2022 FoundHer launched a call for business owners across Hawaii to apply to the group. The team screened hundreds of applicants and met face to face, arriving at a final pool that brought together entrepreneurs from across the state including three counties – Iwi Nails and [Ep-ik] Molokaʻi style, Kamuela Gourmet, Island Swim from Hawaii Island, Haʻa and Co of Kauaʻi. In the previous year, FoundHer across three islands had grown an average of 200% and created 12 jobs in the local economy.

Applications are being accepted for the Hawaii’i FoundHer Program, an entrepreneurship acceleration program focused on women-led businesses in Hawaii.
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Businesses led by Native Hawaiian and AAPI women are growing, increasing by 43% from 2014-2019, or twice the rate of non-minority-owned businesses and nearly five times the rate of all businesses. Many Native Hawaiian and AAPI business owners face gender bias exacerbated by racism and, for indigenous founders, the continuing effects of colonialism. FoundHer began in 2020 to address these issues and develop opportunities for AAPI women entrepreneurs and indigenous women entrepreneurs through an unprecedented program of family sponsorship support and “no strings attached” capital grants, along with traditional accelerator offerings such as mentorship and skill building.



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