EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator™: Hawaiʻi

About the Business Accelerator Program

The EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator– Hawaiʻi will support local entrepreneurs who are creating sustainable business solutions to overcome adverse social determinants of health.

The 2022 Hawaiʻi Finale Showcase

Eight social entrepreneurs making a health impact in Hawaiʻi participated in a six-week business accelerator through the American Heart Association. The culmination of the training was at a virtual finale where entrepreneurs told their business stories to an audience and a panel of judges. Three finalists came away with grant funding.

Watch the video to experience this inspiring event.

Social determinants – environmental and social factors into which people are born, live, work and age – include access to healthy food, quality education, health care, employment and housing. 

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities are increasingly empowered to take charge of their health. Still, many people here continue to be disproportionately affected by heart disease and stroke. 

In 2019, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander people were four times more likely than other populations to die from cardiovascular disease, and three times more likely to die from stroke.   

Social determinants of health are especially significant in Hawaiʻi. The state ranks 46th in the U.S. for economic opportunity based on business environment, employment, and economic growth.

Grandmother  holding infant grandchild
Kapalama Kai Mural

Partnering with Kamehameha Schools, the EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator Program assists entrepreneurs working to reduce adverse social determinants within their communities.

This program is for communities of Hawaiʻi, empowered by the people of Hawaiʻi.

Selected candidates will:

  • Receive six weeks of MBA-style business training.
  • Present their businesses to health, education, social justice and business leaders at the Hawaiʻi Expo and Showcase.
  • Compete for first place, second place and fan favorite to receive $25,000, $10,000 and $5,000 grants, respectively.

Application Information

Who can apply?

The application cycle is closed.

  • Entrepreneurs or innovators focused on improving the health of people in Hawaiʻi
  • Adults 18 or older
  • Must be the founder, CEO or someone authorized to make changes to the business or project.
  • Open to any stage of funding
  • Download the sample application (PDF)


  • March 1-April 1, 2022: Applications accepted
  • Application deadline extended to April 8th
  • April 25: Finalists contacted
  • April 26-June 7: Training period
  • Date TBA: Expo Day (one-on-one sessions with the candidates and judges)
  • Date TBA: Showcase and Award Day
  • National Accelerator October 20

Man selling fruit at a roadside stand

Kamehameha Schools

Kamehameha Schools