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July 19, 2006 - 12:47 PM
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Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce Will Conduct A Business Survey to Identify Barriers Impeding Native Hawaiian Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Do Native Hawaiians face more barriers than non-Native Hawaiians when they start new businesses or engage in business ventures? Why aren't more Native Hawaiians interested in becoming entrepreneurs? What are the cultural, financial, educational and social obstacles impeding Native Hawaiians in the business world?

These are some of the questions that the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce (NHCC) hopes to have answered through its survey "Ho`owaiwai I Ka Pono, Bring Prosperity through Righteouosness."

The survey was just launched by NHCC as a joint project with Hawai`i Maoli. A non-profit established in 1997 by the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, Hawai`i Maoli is committed to advancing and promoting educational and economic opportunities for Native Hawaiians as well as to preserve and protect the ancient Hawaiian traditions, customs, language and historic sites.

NHCC members and non-members as well members of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs will be receiving the survey. "We are very excited about this project and our partnership with Hawai`i Maoli," stated Warren Asing, president of the NHCC. "This fits perfectly with our mission -- to strengthen Native Hawaiian business and professions by building on a foundation of relationships, resources, and Hawaiian values," Asing noted.

The survey is the first phase of a project spearheaded by Hawai`i Maoli to encourage and assist Native Hawaiians to engage in business and become successful entrepreneurs. "We have found that Native Hawaiians tend to be overlooked in the business community and face more challenges in becoming entrepreneurs and business owners," said Dirk Soma, Ho`owaiwai I Ka Pono project director.

According to Soma both successful and unsuccessful business owners will be interviewed to obtain data that will identify barriers to success as well as best practices.
Native Hawaiian business owners and entrepreneurs who are interested in participating in the survey are asked to call Soma at 808.294.8639 or email him directly. The survey is also available on NHCC's website at www.nativehawaiian.cc .

When the data is compiled, Hawai`i Maoli will convene a Business Conference to address the concerns, challenges and impediments to success noted in the survey.
The conference will focus on assisting Native Hawaiians to engage in business and to develop solutions to the problems they face.

The project is part of an ANA (Administration for Native Americans) grant awarded to Hawai`i Maoli by the U.S. Department of Human Services. The eventual goal of the project will be to construct a Business Center within the planned Community Center for Native Hawaiians to be located in Kalaeloa on Oahu.

"We are very pleased to partner with NHCC in developing and implementing this survey," said Joe Lapilio, Hawaii Maoli. "This project will provide us with the data we need to ensure that Native Hawaiians receive the training and resources necessary to become successful business persons and owners."

Founded in 1974, the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce strives to encourage and promote the interests of Native Hawaiians engaged in business and the professions. NHCC members participate in a variety of areas, including economic, social and public affairs.

NHCC's mission is to strengthen Native Hawaiian businesses and professions by building on the foundations of relationships, resources and Hawaiian values: Aloha, Malama, Ho`okipa, Laulima, `Imi`ike, Lokomaika`i, Pono, Ho`omau, Ha`aha`a and Lokahi.

> About NHCC, our Mission and Values.

> Take the Business Survey

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