The Laulima Center works to expand and strengthen Hawai‘i’s rural economies and food systems by providing cooperative and business development services to farmers, value-added producers, and small businesses.
Research shows that Hawai‘i imports nearly 90% of its food and 94% of its energy. By offering technical assistance, consulting services, and microloans to agricultural and cooperative businesses, the Laulima Center works to build an ‘āina-based economy by increasing local food production, expanding distribution channels for agricultural producers, creating jobs, stabilizing energy costs, and improving health and prosperity in Hawai‘i’s rural communities.
Cooperatives take many forms—from groups of farmers who process and market together, to food co-ops, credit unions, schools, medical groups, and artists’ collaboratives. Hawai‘i has a long history of cooperatives, and in today’s challenging economic climate cooperatives can provide an attractive alternative to traditional business partnerships. If you are interested in forming a cooperative business but you need some assistance in getting organized, writing a business plan, or becoming legally incorporated, or if you are part of a cooperative that could benefit from technical assistance to advance your work, the Laulima Center can help.
The Laulima Center also helps farms, ranches, agricultural businesses, and farmers’ associations with capitalization strategies. Our staff and consultants can help you secure low-cost loans or apply for grants to grow your rural business.
Formed out of The Kohala Center’s interests in promoting food self-reliance, energy self-reliance, and ecosystem health, The Laulima Center is funded by a USDA-Rural Cooperative Development Grant and with additional support from the Ulupono Initiative. We serve all sectors of Hawai‘i’s rural economy. Our services include:
- Cooperative Business Education
- Group Facilitation and Organization
- Strategic Project Planning
- Feasibility Assessment
- Business Planning
- Market Analysis
- Grant Writing and Capitalization Strategies
- Legal Document Assistance
- Professional Referrals
- Board and Member Trainings
- Conflict Resolution
If your organization would like to schedule a presentation about the benefits of cooperatives or the steps to forming one, please contact us at 808-887-6411.
If your group or business is interested in receiving technical assistance from the Laulima Center, please download and complete our Intake Form.