Kahiau Rural Business Development Microloan Program*
*Funds for the initial pilot are limited. We will update this page when funds are no longer available.
The Kahiau Rural Business Development Microloan Program provides low-interest loans and technical assistance to eligible businesses. The Kahiau Foundation created the loan fund in order to support businesses that contribute to strengthening Hawaiian culture, building community, and enhancing the health of the natural environment. These values govern every aspect of the Program, from the eligibility requirements to the technical assistance provided to borrowers, before and after the loan is made.
To be eligible, a business must meet all of the following three criteria: (1) a new or existing business on Hawai‘i Island or Moloka‘i, (2) the owner/operator of the business is Native Hawaiian or kama‘āina (individuals born and raised in Hawai‘i), and (3) the business in some way reflects at least one of the Program’s three overarching values—strengthening Hawaiian culture, building community, and enhancing the health of the natural environment.
The goals of the Program are to:
- Support local communities on Hawai‘i Island and Moloka‘i;
- Help small businesses succeed and increase the financial and business acumen of small business owners;
- Provide a pathway to building business credit and a training ground for the commercial loan application process; and
- Build community, protect the environment, and strengthen Hawaiian culture.
Applicants may apply for loans between $2,000 and $15,000. The interest rate is fixed at 2%. Loan proceeds may be used to pay for supplies, equipment, labor costs, construction costs, and other expenses that will contribute to business viability and growth.
Technical assistance and education are key elements of the Program. Pre-loan technical assistance may include assistance with the loan application process, financial recordkeeping, credit issues, and business planning. Ongoing technical assistance is available to borrowers on a monthly basis throughout the term of the loan, including help with preparing quarterly financial statements. The Program incorporates community building into the technical assistance component by helping businesses develop a business team and a network of peers, mentors, and advisors. And the Program itself is a community—a community of past, present, and future borrowers who maintain the loan fund for each other’s mutual benefit.
To initiate the application process, please complete and submit the Intake Form (PDF, 433 KB) and return it by email to firstname.lastname@example.org; by fax to 808-885-6707, or via mail to: The Kohala Center, P.O. Box 437462, Kamuela, HI 96743, Attention: RCBDS.
Please email email@example.com or call 808-887-6411.