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Business Brainstormers partner with Maui Prep to bring businesses into the classroom

By Staff | Feb 14, 2019

Maui Prep Student Senate President Rebecca Geng (left) consults with faculty members on the upcoming workshop.

NAPILI – Maui Business Brainstormers (MBB) is partnering with Maui Preparatory Academy during 2019’s National Entrepreneurship Week (N.E.W.) to bring local businesses into the schools, with an all-day business workshop to be held on the Maui Prep campus on Feb. 21, 2019.

As one of the initial events leveraging the new Center for Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the workshop will bring Maui Prep alumni and associated local business owners into the classroom to share their start-up and business experiences, along with prominent members of the local community who will provide feedback and coaching as part of the day’s program with students.

Head of School Robert Landau stated, “As Maui Preparatory Academy continues to prepare our students for a challenging and unpredictable future, we see the ever-increasing need to foster a spirit of entrepreneurship. Our goal is to incorporate these concepts and skills into our curriculum. This effort starts with amazing events like Entrepreneurship Day. We believe that fostering entrepreneurship attitudes and skills raises awareness of career opportunities, as well as of ways young people can contribute to the development and prosperity of their communities.”

Academy Director of Innovation and Strategic Programs Tara Burk added, “We think the Center for Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship is the ideal setting for this workshop, enabling the partnership between MBB and Maui Prep to challenge our students across the high school to a new level of insight and learning. By spending a day with local business owners, we hope our students will walk away with a new understanding of applied knowledge and what it takes to move beyond the campus to the real world.”

Featured business owners will be on campus for the all-day workshop with students, including serial entrepreneur Jim Bozich of Home Run Auto Group (also president of Maui Prep Board of Trustees), Ravosh Samari of Maui Escape Room and Lorrie Nielson of Unveiled Hawaii.

From left, Maui Prep students Wilson Tinkler, Madison Perry, Chloe Chin and Harrison Cramond work on a project in the new Center for Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Additional businesses are providing materials to be used in the workshop, based on actual business scenarios and product offerings, which the students will evaluate and incorporate into short pitches and business plans. Businesses contributing their materials include Nathan O’Hanlon of Ono Moa Candies, James Boote of West Maui Cycles, Qiana and Michele Di Bari of Sale Pepe Pizzeria e Cucina, and Jurg Munch and Arnulfo Gonzalez of Lahaina Grill.

According to MBB Workshop Facilitator Lori Fisher, “The activities are designed to help students practice business and market analysis based on actual business problems while developing creative and innovative business ideas. Teamwork will be a key skill, as well as clear and concise communication of ideas under time constraints. They will also have a chance, in a supportive environment, to both give and receive constructive feedback from the judging panel.”

Kai Pelayo of the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce will serve on the judging panel and bring a focus on community and culture to the day’s activities. He describes the final workshop activity, in which all high school students are participating, as “an ideal chance to think about ‘giving back’ to the community in a business context, looking for the intersection of business and personal success while practicing both creativity and analytical skills.”

Paula Hegele, president of Maui Wine Ltd., and Nicole Fisher, owner of Skywriting by… nico, a small business social media marketing company, will also serve on the judging panel, contributing their local business experience in sales and marketing from wholesale to retail.

Other 2019 N.E.W events in Maui County will include business community forums focused on “Mom-and-Pop” retailers and services slated at multiple locations across the county, including Hana.

MBB initiated Maui’s first-ever participation in National Entrepreneurship Week in 2017 with three days of educational events end-to-end across the island that began in Hana and concluded at Montage Kapalua Bay.

National Entrepreneurship Week, a congressionally-chartered week dedicated to showcasing entrepreneurship throughout the United States, is being held Feb. 16-23, 2019. It was founded in 2006 by the National Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education (EntreEd) to highlight the importance of entrepreneurship and engage communities across the U.S. in activities to promote and support entrepreneurship in their communities.

Local sponsors are providing support for the event as well as contributing recognition incentives for the participating students. The supporters who are making this inaugural workshop possible include EntreEd, Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii and The Westin Maui Resort & Spa.

Since 2012, Maui Business Brainstormers has been creating a landscape of opportunity for Maui individual, micro and small businesses. MBB is a nonprofit volunteer organization that has built its reputation by providing business educational events and opportunities at no cost and with no sales pitches for the benefit of the local Maui business community.

Learn more about National Entrepreneurship Week at www.natleshipweek.org/. For more information on this year’s student workshop, follow Maui Business Brainstormers on Facebook or Twitter.

To join MBB at no cost, go to www.Meetup.com/MauiBusinessBrainstormers.