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With no recovery in sight for Hawaii’s economy, one group is trying to bring millions to local businesses

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    HONOLULU (KITV) — To offset the financial downturn brought on by a drop in visitor arrivals throughout the pandemic, Honolulu based consulting firm Mana Up is trying to spread the aloha spirit to the rest of the world through its local businesses.

“Hawai’i is a globally loved brand,” Mana Up co-founder Meli James said. “People love Hawai’i whether they’ve been here or not, so how do we connect those dots.”

Mana Up offers a six month crash course to help expand product-based businesses with Hawai’i headquarters.

“A lot of it is around e-marketing, e-commerce, direct to consumer. That’s a big piece especially this year when we really learned that so many of our companies needed to have so much more of a robust online presence as opposed to relying so much on wholesale and retail especially in tourist areas,” James said.

So far, the group has graduated about 50 companies and created more than 300 jobs in Hawai’i.

“Our ultimate goal is to help grow 100 product-based businesses here in the islands, and they’re earning $10 million or more in their annual revenue, so what could a billion dollars do for the state of Hawai’i,” James added.

The company reports its alumni generate a total of $38 million each year since it launched two years ago.

Mana Up is now accepting applications for its next cohort.

“The minimum revenue is $100,000 a year, so these aren’t ideas where you’re still kind of tinkering with recipes, you’ve figured out a few things, but you’re ready to scale,” James said.

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Article Topic Follows: Regional News

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