Cover photo for Hawaii Kahiau Rural Business Development Microloan Program

Hawaii Kahiau Rural Business Development Microloan Program

Kohala Center

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. Be 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 (an individual 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.


Loan Details

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

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.

Application Instructions

To initiate the application process, complete the Services Enrollment Form. If you need a paper enrollment form mailed to you, contact the program administrator at the details above.




Kohala Center

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Updated March 22, 2024

Image Credit: Fiona Smallwood

This information was gathered from public sources. Ambrook is not responsible for or able to affect the results of any financial programs listed, nor are they responsible for any incorrect information that is listed or is on the hyperlinked external sites. All information is subject to change.

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