Hawaiʻi FoundHer Resources

The Hawaiʻi FoundHer resource library contains business development lessons led by a variety of industry experts.

We hope you find this useful as you grow your business!

Login to view

Business Development

Packaging and Labeling
Dianne Ma, Invoke Hospitality

Learn about different things to consider when choosing packaging for your business. Topics we’ll address include packaging costs, ergonomic packaging, finding the right packaging for your product, and ways to utilize packaging to further your brand story.


Go to Market Strategy
Denise Woodward

Learn how Denise grew Partake from selling cookies out of her car to over 9,000 retailers across the US. Denise is the Founder and CEO of Partake Foods, a natural food company that was inspired by her daughter’s experience with food allergies. 

Customer Research and Insights
Erica Chan

  • Why customer research and insights are important
  • How it will inform/improve product-market fit
  • How it might help you


Common Employment Law Issues for Small Businesses
Shannon Edie, Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce

This discussion covers employment law topics including legal considerations during the hiring and onboarding process, employee handbooks, common legal and compliance challenges, and resources for small businesses.



Product and Copywriting Strategy
Liya Safina

In her talk, Liya is providing robust case studies of successful e-commerce websites, both from her work on Otherland and from other trending direct-to-consumer products. She focuses on the strategy behind web copywriting, photography, hierarchy, role of homepage headers and value introduction to the consumer. Over the course of the hour Liya dissects ecommerce homepages in detail, focusing on key categories for our 2021 cohort: skincare, CBD, farming, teas, diapers and more.


How to Scope an E-commerce Development Contract
Ellen Ng, HTDC

The purpose of this session is to guide you in how you can align your vision, growth strategies and e-commerce development:

  • Setting up your e-commerce development / feature roadmap
  • Identifying and working with an e-commerce vendor
  • Growth strategies and prioritization

Best Practices in E-commerce
Akemi Hiatt, Hidden Gears

Your e-commerce presence is more than just a website – it’s an arm of your business that can help you unlock higher sales and a new customer base. With smart investments and a clear marketing strategy, you can learn how to leverage your website to meet the needs of the modern day customer. Join Akemi Hiatt of Hidden Gears as she guides you through best practices, with examples provided along the way. We’ll touch on essential design elements and features, how to partner with a developer, investing in content and digital marketing, and the importance of compliance. The session will be followed by a Q&A session.


SEO Fundamentals
Neal Kido

Organic traffic drives 53% of your total web traffic which is why understanding search engine optimization (SEO) is so important. Learn the basics of SEO and understand the main factors which influence your Google rankings.


Local SEO and Google My Business
Neal Kido

46% of all Google searches are looking for local information which is why optimizing your Google Business profile and local search is critical for businesses offering products and services in the local area. Learn how to property claim your Google Business listing and optimize for local search.


Audience Segmentation + Keyword Research
Neal Kido

Understanding how your customers search online and what keywords they use while searching is critical to SEO success. Learn how to use Google searches, keyword research software and competitor analysis to create your targeted keyword lists.


Branding & Marketing

Defining your Brand
Lisa Hennessey & Lori Abichandi, Fernweh

How to get from understanding Brand to your companies core messaging.


Brand Expression and Content Strategy
Lisa Hennessey & Lori Abichandi, Fernweh

How to translate your strategy into your visual identity and beyond.

Branding Online & Influencer Marketing
Waikea Springs

Join us for a growth marketing session from a company that chooses people and planet over profit. Waiākea will discuss how to run an ethical and sustainable company, while still being one of the fastest growing and innovative brands in the consumer product goods space.


Storytelling Workshop
Kelsey Amos

This workshop will adapt Marshall Ganz’ Public Narrative framework for use in telling the story of you and your mission-driven business.

Defining Your Brand
Lisa Hennessy & Lori Abichandani

We look at what a brand is and how you define your foundational strategy and core messaging with hands on guidance and homework to create your own.

Photography and Videography
Lance Roylo

In this class, Lance will teach the basics of photography and video for businesses. You will learn how to shoot videos and photos for your business and what to look for when working with a professional videographer or photographer. Lance will also go through the range of pre-and post-production and how best to distribute your content through your social channels.


Growing Between Islands and Beyond
Kūhaʻo Zane and Ane Bakutis, Sig Zane and Kealopiko

In this Q&A session, Kūhaʻo and Ane talk about their experience running a business with operations on multiple islands, and tips for interisland expansion.


Wholesale 101: What To Consider As You Grow Your Physical Products Business
Allison Ball

Join this training session for a high-level overview of the economics of starting a consumer packaged goods business. 

International Expansion
Wendy Dakroub, Takaho Iwasaki, & John Holman

Capturing that wholesale buyer’s attention is hard, and you have only one chance to make a positive impression.

4 steps to getting your products on the retail shelf and pitching to wholesale buyers
Allison Ball

Capturing that wholesale buyer’s attention is hard, and you have only one chance to make a positive impression.

Prospecting by Hawai'i Retailers from Start to Finish
Kiani Wong

Join us for our next Hawai’i FoundHer session on Prospecting Hawai’i Retailers​ From Start to Finish with Kiani Wong, co-founder/CEO of Kaka’ako Kasuals and Ki’ikau Printers and former retail buyer.

Discussion topics will include:

  • How to approach a buyer (national vs. Local)
  • What Retailers Look For
  • Do’s vs Do-Nots
  • Setting Your Wholesale Pricing
  • Information Needed for Your First Meeting with a Buyer
  • Ordering Processes for National vs. Local Buyer
  • Follow-Up and Subsequent Orders


Creative Financing Sources
Sanoe Burgess, Kawika Burgess & Louie Rios, Alliance Commercial Finance and Lei Ho'olaha CDFI

Our guest speakers outline different financing options available to Hawaiʻi based businesses


Accounting Management Basics
Cammie Chun & Marla Musick

  • Building a budget
  • Terminology (e.g. revenue, expenses, capital expenditures, assets, liabilities, equity)
  • Cash management
  • Tips & techniques

Tax Management Basic
Cammie Chun & Marla Musick

  • Contractor vs. Employee
  • 1099’s
  • Deadlines
  • Document retention and preparation
  • GET 

Growing your Business with Loans
Aaron Ellis

FTHF is a local Community Development Financial Institutions Program focused on creating a world where access to opportunity and capital feed greater food equity, security, and sustainability. This session covers:

  • Debt products available in the marketplace & which one might be more suitable for you
  • Principles of loan underwriting to give some context for a borrower trying to understand why they need to provide all that personal information
  • Basics of financial statements

Creative Financing Sources
Melissa Kim & Sofia Badalamenti

Venture Capital Basics presented by Melissa Kim

  • What is venture capital and how it works
  • Female founders and venture capital
  • How to get venture capital
  • Why you want and don’t want VC funding

Crowdfunding presented by Sofia Badalamenti 

  • What is crowdfunding?
  • Why do smart women crowdfund?
  • How to successfully crowdfund
  • Examples of successful crowdfunders on IFW
  • Hot tips

Native Community Development Financial Institution
Louie Rios

Lei Ho’olaha Native CDFI is a nonprofit organization that provides affordable loans & financial education for the Native Hawaiian community. Founded in 2011, Lei Ho’olaha has over 10 years of industry experience and specializes in small business & nonprofit loans. Louie is a certified CDFI practitioner with 5 years of small business experience prior to joining the nonprofit sector. He is passionate about facilitating the transformation of Hawaii’s economy to be based on ‘Āina, community, and sustainability.