Sunday | December 10, 2017
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Business plans pay off for UH-Hilo, HCC students

Two undergraduates at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and Hawaii Community College each have won a year’s free tuition for the business plans they submitted to the Hawaii Island Business Plan Competition.

Juvette K. Kahawai‘i, 21, a senior at UH-Hilo’s School of Business and Economics, submitted a plan to launch Kupa‘a Tax and Accounting Corp. — a family business that would provide not only tax preparation but bookkeeping and payroll administration for Hawaii Island businesses. UH-Hilo will cover the cost of her next year’s tuition of about $7,200.

Kainen Kahiwahiwa Bohol, 26, who is taking classes at HCC, submitted a plan to create Lava Forge Metalcraft. It would make salable and exportable furniture, tools and decorative items from the scrap materials that are used and then typically discarded by HCC’s welding and machining program. HCC will cover the cost of his next year’s tuition of about $4,800.

“I’d like to thank Judy Mellon and Kanoe Puuohau at the Small Business Development Corporation who helped me develop my business plan,” Kahawai‘i said. “We are prepared to launch Kupa‘a Tax and Accounting this coming January.

“It’s hard for small businesses, especially new businesses, to have tax and accounting expertise in-house. We want to meet their needs. We already have two small-business clients lined up and are working to bring on two more.”

“I came to see myself as a ‘fabricator,’ able to make things to use here or to export,” said Bohol, a former Marine, after enrolling in HCC’s welding and machining program. “With the right equipment, we can turn leaf springs into kitchen knives or turn suspension springs into end tables or shelving. I’ll know what I want to make, when I need it.”

He intends to use his scholarship for liberal arts courses at HCC to round out his education — and potentially give him more ideas for things to make.

The tuition scholarships for student contestants are a new addition to the competition this year. HIplan will — as it did last year — award $25,000 in startup capital to one of the eight finalists who will make their presentations Saturday at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority in Kailua-Kona. The event begins at 9 a.m. and is open to the public.

Primary sponsors for the awards were the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce and University of Hawaii at Hilo.


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