our GOAL

Advance economic growth through resilient industries and workforce development.



  • Engage community in the revision of the 2021-2025 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)

  • Cultivate relationships and leverage assets to build and implement creative and innovative policies, partnerships, and economic initiatives

  • Develop resources for workforce training


  • Create opportunities for youth in partnership with business and academia


In July 2020, the Economy Stream launched its work to craft an economic development strategy that aligns with the community's vision of a vibrant economy and the core values of Vibrant Hawai'i.


Through online platforms, we educated and built awareness of the CEDS, established priorities for industry development, and set forth on a course to create a version of the CEDS – a strategy that we can act on and hold ourselves accountable to.


The Economy x Education Streams converged to host seven Zoom panel discussions and do a deep dive into industry challenges and opportunities. An Economic Development Strategy & Action Plan was developed consistent with EDA standards and to have cohesion across sectors. Working groups formed to craft Action Plans, building off of panel discussions and further engagement with industry.


After nearly a year of development, we are sharing our body work and preparing for collective action.

download a copy of the
2021-2024 vibrant Hawaiʻi economic development strategy & action plans

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Micro-investment cohort 1 awardees

The purpose of micro-investing is to provide Economy Stream Core Teams with financial capital to pilot ideas or scale up concepts identified in the Vibrant Hawaii Economic Development Strategy (EDS). The six sectors identified include: Creative & Performing Arts,  Health, Education, Resilient & Sustainable Food Systems, Regenerative & Community-Driven Tourism, and Software, Technology & Creative Media.


Micro-investments are intended to support quick action to demonstrate feasibility of solutions and are available in amounts up to $2,500. In reciprocity for the investment, awardees have committed to supporting and sharing their learning journey with one another through Unrulr, an online collaboration tool, and helping co-create and inform the design of future micro-investment opportunities.


Applications were received from community groups and entrepreneurs island-wide and reviewed by a committee comprised of Vibrant Hawaiʻi volunteer board members. 

Next round of applications open May 2022.

Creative & Performing Arts
Hawaii's Volcano Circus
Increase access to create & perform.
Hilo Puna Kaʻū
Creative & Performing Arts
Oahi Entertainment Wedding and Events (O'E'WE)
Create a new show concept to provide young adults with employment opportunities and educate visitors through mo'olelo.
Hilo Puna Kaʻū Kona Waimea North Kohala Hāmākua Not Hawaiʻi Island
Creative & Performing Arts
PPAC Community Center floor repair
Elighten community around the high value of art.
Hilo Hāmākua
`Āina University of Puna (`Āina UP)
Improve education and awareness of food system, support the integration of sustainable food systems education into the K-12 curriculum. increase support for youth-led efforts to promote awareness of the local food system.
Puna Kaʻū
Kalamapi'i PLAY School
Increase opportunities for all HawaiʻiIsland residents to have access to inclusive, quality, education that fosters lifelong learning.
Hilo Puna Hāmākua
Kohala Okinawa Children's Day Camp
Will train junior leaders ages 14-17 to teach/assist/learn sessions, lead groups, communicate with participants 7-12. They will also learn to work with adult leaders and parents.
Waimea North Kohala Hāmākua
Promote locally sourced and owned small businesses that align to ʻĀina Aloha through social media and communication campaigns Build and fund a network of paid professionals, organizations, and community groups to provide services at hubs. Identify education and community partners willing to partner on this initiative Develop outline of co-created events to be hosted by this partnership.
Hilo Puna Kaʻū Kona Waimea North Kohala Hāmākua Not Hawaiʻi Island
Māmaki Ola Curriculum Development and Implementation
Accessible healing practices, ʻĀina-based education, workplace (entrepreneurial) exposure, and value-added foods (māmaki tea blends for schools).
Hilo Puna Kaʻū Kona Waimea North Kohala Hāmākua
Project Hale Kohala
Four instructors will meet with the 10 families every other week to provide financial guidance.
North Kohala
Volcano Precious Plastic
Increasing small business education about 'aina aloha. We can also impact tourism, food systems, and other sectors.
Hilo Puna Kaʻū Kona Waimea North Kohala Hāmākua Not Hawaiʻi Island
Health and Wellbeing
North Kohala Archery
Public/private partnership utilizing current facilities to create organized structured activities for all ages and abilities with guided leadership to improve physical and emotional health.
North Kohala
Health and Wellbeing
Root & Rise’s “Nature & Art as Therapy”
Nature & Art as Therapy works to “promote whole mind, body, spirit (holistic) wellbeing that forwards culture-based healing pathways, heals trauma and allows for individual and collective ʻauamo kuleana.”
Kaʻū Kona
Regenerative & Community Driven Tourism
Hawaii Forest Farms tours & education
Education for kids about history and culture, health & wellness and medicinal plants.
Hilo Puna Kaʻū
Regenerative & Community Driven Tourism
Kohala Kupa'a Online Marketplace
Locals will have the opportunity to promote local made products from the ʻāina or local foods.
Hilo Puna Kaʻū Kona Waimea North Kohala Hāmākua Not Hawaiʻi Island
Regenerative & Community Driven Tourism
Wai'Uli: We Count
This project is in the Wai’Uli/Keaukaha area, and is actively collecting data on cruise ship visitors, seeking to reward Tour Operators for Pono practices, and working to make the beach park areas safer and more pleasant for visitors and residents alike.
Hilo Puna Kaʻū Kona Waimea North Kohala Hāmākua Not Hawaiʻi Island
Resilient & Sustainable Food Systems
Na`alehu Resilience Hub Food Insecurity and Workforce Development Initiative
Create and coordinate outlets for farmers to sell b-grade product or produce overflow.
Resilient & Sustainable Food Systems
Orchard Garden Project at Becca's Farm
Becca’s Farm will be a learning hub for students to discover ways that they can contribute positively to our island’s food system and environment. Through our initiative, we will help to achieve the following tactic: “Ensure our community has access to ʻāina based opportunities to develop purpose, impact, contribution, connection, and interdependence within the (eco) system of Hawaiʻi.”
Resilient & Sustainable Food Systems
Sugar Hill Farmstore
Since our farm currently functions as an aggregator both for meat and vegetables, building a farm shop with the assistance of this funding will be supporting food hub growth.
Hilo Hāmākua
Resilient & Sustainable Food Systems
The Honeybee Education Program
The community gardens provide opportunities for the selected communities to work with garden Instructors to build food resiliency.
Hilo Puna Kaʻū Kona Hāmākua
Resilient & Sustainable Food Systems
Youngs Family Farm
We want to steer a community to be food sustainable and grow their own agriculture. We also see the value of farm-to-market agriculture and keeping that economic value in Hawaii.
Hilo Puna Kaʻū Kona Waimea North Kohala Hāmākua
Software, Technology, & Creative Media
Startup Hawaiʻi
Establish communication capacity by standing “up a robust communication & marketing group, develop and deploy a PR campaign targeting web, social, print, and TV, establish a web and social media presence, and establish a cadence for communications – press releases, website updates, social engagement.”
Hilo Puna Kaʻū Kona Waimea North Kohala Hāmākua
Software, Technology, & Creative Media
The Future of Remote Work in Higher Education on Hawai’i Island
The tactic that will be implemented is normalizing remote work - change the perception this is short-term; articulate this is the new normal.
Hilo Puna Kaʻū Kona Waimea North Kohala Hāmākua
Software, Technology, & Creative Media
The Hawaiiverse Initiative
Expand economic opportunities available through e-commerce.
Hilo Puna Kaʻū Kona Waimea North Kohala Hāmākua

MEETING recaps

April 2022

Micro-investing Presentations

February 2022

Webinar: Resources for Nonprofit

January 2022

2022 Economy Core Teams

Our Team

Ashley Kierkiewicz


Ashley Kierkiewicz is a policy maker who leverages her experience in communication, outreach, and grassroots organizing to make local government more accessible. She works to build economic resilience through bold vision, good policy, community empowerment, and coordinated, meaningful action.

Farrah-Marie Gomes


Farrah-Marie Gomes is an education administrator with a passion for and experience in building community capacity through partnerships and collaborations.

resource library

Grant Resources (Updated 5/20/22)

Hawai'i County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, 2016-2020

USDA/EDA Resource Guide

Employment Opportunities

CEDS Central

Opportunities to Learn, Grow, and Upskill

National Association of Development Organizations

Learn More About Our Other Streams: