It gives me great pleasure to share with you some exciting changes happening at the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Hawai`i (EF), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging, enabling and empowering Hawai`i’s entrepreneurs to do well to do good.
EF launched in 2003 with an equity donation program, encouraging startups to donate a portion of their future success for the benefit of the Hawai`i community. Since inception, this program has attracted over 40 donations of equity, and yielded over $2 million in impact grants and 2,500 volunteer hours contributed.
Beginning today, we will be expanding our services to customizing and implementing corporate philanthropy programs for local Hawai`i startups. We will work with startups to identify a cause and model of philanthropy -- equity, products or services, profits or employee time -- that makes the most sense for their business, and work with them to integrate it into their company culture and values to create community impact that scales together with their business.
To that end, we know that greater business success means greater impact for the community, so EF will continue to support and organize unique content and experiences for startups to connect with community-minded investors, business leaders, accelerators, incubators, professional service providers and other resources that all share in the common belief that business success is so much more than an end goal, it’s a tool to create positive change in our community.
Startups can begin working with us by filling out a quick 90-second form on our website to pledge their commitment to philanthropy, and someone from our team will be in touch.
I am humbled and honored to serve this wonderful mission as executive director of EF. As founding managing partner of Hawai`i-based technology investment firm, Reef Capital Ventures, a role I still maintain, I’ve learned that entrepreneurs are some of the world’s best problem solvers and uniquely positioned to create scalable community impact unlike any other business. It is our vision at EF to mobilize Hawai`i’s entrepreneurial community to infuse entrepreneurial thought, spirit and action into solving the difficult challenges our community faces today, tomorrow and beyond.
We are incredibly grateful to Central Pacific Bank and Hawaiian Electric Industries, who we have the privilege of calling partners in our mission. Both companies are exemplary corporate citizens whose track records demonstrate their commitment to investing in the community's present and long-term needs.
Here’s to making the community a key stakeholder in every business.
Lauren Primiano and the EF Board of Directors
Some things have changed:
- Our logo & website. Please take a few moments to check it out by visiting efhawaii.org. We hope you like it!
- Our membership structure. EF will no longer offer paid annual or lifetime memberships (though we’ll honor the privileges of existing members). However, startups who make a commitment to philanthropy by filling out a quick 90-second form on our website will get discounted access to EF and partner events.
- Our programs & services. While EF will gladly continue accepting equity donations directly, our focus, programs and services will be centered around customizing, implementing and championing the success of corporate philanthropy programs for local Hawai`i startups.
- Our executive director. Lauren Primiano joined our team as ED earlier this year. If you haven’t had a chance to say hello, please feel free to drop her a line as she’d love to hear from friends old and new!
Some things haven't:
- Our cause. EF’s philosophy has always and continues to be that a small commitment today can have a huge impact tomorrow. We’re happy to work with any startup at any stage that’s willing to make a commitment to philanthropy.
- Our commitment to business success. We continue to believe that a startup’s business success is a win for the community because the more well one does, the more good one can do. EF will continue to support and organize unique content and experiences for startups to connect with resources that can help their business win. We'll be sure to keep you posted on upcoming opportunities!