MBB Hosts Event for Hāna Business Community
Maui Business Brainstormers, building on the recent expansion to Upcountry Maui, hosted its first-ever “Business in the Think Tank” event in Hāna on Wednesday, Feb. 24.
With the support of Hāna Business Council, local business owners came together at Ala Kukui Hāna to generate potential solutions for issues affecting businesses in East Maui.
Businesses in attendance ranged from commercial gardens to vacation rentals to homeopathic products to real estate to farms to local authors and more.
MBB organizers Grace Fung, Lori Fisher and David Kapaku traveled to Hāna to host the event.
Ala Kukui, a cultural and educational retreat center located in East Maui, provided the meeting space for the event.
“The lush, quiet backdrop of the Ala Kukui grounds provided the perfect setting to leave daily distractions behind to focus on visions for improving a wide range of businesses,” said Fung.
For over three years, MBB has assisted the small business community in Central Maui (Kahului) and West Maui (Lahaina) with monthly Business in the Think Tank meetings, as well as offering additional educational opportunities, such as special seminars and workshops.
“Business in the Think Tank events provide an outlet for business owners and managers to discuss their challenges with other business leaders to jointly identify creative and relevant solutions to such problems,” said event host Kapaku.
The goal of bringing the Think Tank to the East Maui business community was to “bring the energy and success of the Business in the Think Tank model to all ends of Maui now, helping Hāna businesses participate in the same way in which Central, West and Upcountry have had the opportunity,” said Fisher.
“The Think Tank approach provided a supportive and encouraging forum for the small business owners, professionals and home-based businesses in Hāna who wanted to get away from daily operations for a couple of hours to connect with their peer business contacts to share problem-solving ideas specific to the unique business environment in Hāna,” said Fisher.
At the Think Tank meeting at Ala Kukui, three local business members volunteered to share their business challenges. Each challenge was presented, followed by clarifying questions to fully understand the needs of the presenter.
After those questions were answered, the group then started the brainstorming process. Free-flowing answers were generated, while the hosts captured them on a white board.
In a second series of activities, two additional business members volunteered to give practice “sales pitches” addressing their potential customers. The participants then provided constructive criticism and feedback to the presenters on the content, style and delivery of their message.
Participants engaged enthusiastically in the brainstorming and feedback, and asked the organizers about the possibility of a repeat session as they left the event.
“This was so helpful. I would encourage more of our Hāna businesses to come to the next such event,” one attendee remarked.
All of the BiTT meetings organized by MBB proceed with the official support of the Maui County Business Resource Center.
MBB thanks the Hāna Business Council for its support of this inaugural East Maui session. MBB also thanks Travaasa Hāna for hosting the organizers the evening before the meeting as they arrived to prepare for this event.