Grants up to $25,000 available to Core Four students for business start-up expenses

David Daly, Director of the Maui Economic Opportunity Business Development Center, teaches a Core Four Business Planning class in Wailuku in July. Photo Courtesy: MEO

Maui Economic Opportunity’s Core Four Business Planning series will run Sept. 6 to Oct. 6, with graduates eligible for up to $25,000 in grants for business start-up expenses.

MEO’s Business Development Center offers the course virtually via Zoom on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It is geared for those thinking of starting a business or with an entrepreneurial idea but in need of direction. The series provides information needed to start, operate and grow a business. It also teaches how to write a business plan.

A free introductory class to learn about the series will be held in person on Sept. 1, from noon to 1 p.m., at the Maui County Business Resource Center, 110 Ala‘ihi St., No. 209, in Kahului. Call 808-249-2990 to register for the introductory class.

The cost of the Four Core Business Planning series is $50, and financial assistance is available. Registration is required for the series and can be done by submitting an online application or through the MEO website at meoinc.org. Enrollment forms also can be picked up from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays by appointment at MEO’s Family Center in Wailuku near the J. Walter Cameron Center by calling 808-249-2990.

For the second year, the Business Development Center is presenting a Best Business Plan grant program, funded again by County Council Member Tasha Kama’s district allowance. There will be nine awards ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 with Core Four graduates through the upcoming class series eligible to submit business plans for review.

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Business Development Center Director David Daly said the start-up grants are a unique opportunity, and a critical piece for entrepreneurs who are trying to make their business dreams come true.

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The grant offerings last year attracted more than 70 Core Four class participants – the highest number for a class series – and 30 grant applications.

Daly said entrepreneurs often have attractive business ideas but lack the practical knowledge of turning those dreams into reality.

“This Core Four series will give start-ups a plan for success while having a chance to gain start-up capital,” he said.

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The series is funded by Maui County through the Office of Economic Development.

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