The Laulima Center supports the development of rural and cooperative businesses with technical assistance throughout the state of Hawai‘i.
Cooperatives take many forms—from groups of farmers who process and market together, to food co-ops, credit unions, schools, medical groups, and artists’ collaboratives. Hawai‘i has a long history of cooperatives, and in today’s challenging economic climate cooperatives can provide an attractive alternative to traditional business partnerships. If you have a group that would like to form a cooperative but you need some assistance in getting organized, writing a business plan, or becoming legally incorporated, or if you are part of a cooperative that could use technical assistance to advance your work, the Laulima Center can help.
The Laulima Center, housed at The Kohala Center, grows out of our interests in food self-reliance, energy self-reliance, and ecosystem health. Funded by a USDA-Rural Cooperative Development Grant and with additional support from the Ulupono Initiative, the Laulima Center serves all sectors of our rural economy. Melanie Bondera is the center's Rural Cooperative Development Specialist, and Nicole Milne is the center's Agriculture Business Development Specialist.
If your organization would like a presentation about the benefits of cooperatives or the steps to forming one, please contact us to arrange it. Click here to download information about the Laulima Center for inclusion in your organization's newsletter.
If your group would like to form a cooperative, please fill out our intake form for technical assistance or call Melanie Bondera at 808-887-6411. The Laulima Center Web site is rich with information about forming a cooperative and includes many steps that your group can take on their own. Please read through this Web site to learn more about the Laulima Center and how we can help you.
The Kohala Center is an equal opportunity provider and employer.