The Hawaii Small Business Forum (HSB Forum) was founded in 2003. the annual conference has become an important calendar fixture for Hawaii’s entrepreneurial community. The event is designed to bring “Washington to Waikiki”, giving local small business owners and educators an opportunity to meet some of the federal government’s movers and shakers in policy and contracting. The Forum is an advocate for development and exposure to millions of dollars of contract opportunities available to island businesses.
Previous forums helped introduce Hawaii entrepreneurs to numerous federal small business programs and the decision makers who manage them. The conferences have also featured representatives from several of the federal government’s prime contractors – “integrators” who each year assign billions of dollars in subcontracts to smaller firms and are constantly looking for IT trained professionals for government and non government jobs.
Through these introductions, a number of local firms have established a presence in areas of business that were once considered inaccessible to Hawaii-based enterprises. Engaging with local educators and community leaders has provided opportunities to discuss joint efforts. Raising awareness and expectations is one of the most important goals of the HSB Forum.