Great News! Vice President Harris Announces YWCA O‘ahu as a Recommended Awardee for the MBDA Capital Readiness Program - Archived

YWCA O‘ahu Announced as a Recommended Awardee for the MBDA’s Capital Readiness Program

On Friday, August 4, Vice President Harris announced the recommended awardees for the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Capital Readiness Program that includes YWCA O‘ahu for its YWahine in Business Program. YWCA O‘ahu was one of 43 recipients out of more than a thousand applicants and the only Hawai‘i organization to be named a recommended awardee of the MBDA Capital Readiness Program.

“The great advantage of this program is that it allows us to provide a statewide reach and serve more of Hawai‘i’s socioeconomically disadvantaged entrepreneurs, especially women,” said Noriko Namiki, Chief Executive Officer of YWCA O‘ahu.

“At the core of the Capital Readiness Program is the concept of equity: providing opportunities to those who have not had a fair chance in the business world. Starting and running a successful business should not be dictated by the wealth you already have or the people you know. Those with great ideas, expertise, and gusto should be able to turn their dreams into reality and this grant can help them achieve those goals.”

Introducing YWahine in Business

The YWahine in Business Program will help close the entrepreneurship gap between socially and economically disadvantaged individuals (SEDI) and non-SEDI. YWCA Oahu’s Business Centers, The Patsy T. Mink Center for Business and Leadership Women’s Business Center, The MBDA Enterprising Women of Color (EWOC) Business Center, the University of Hawai‘i, Hawaii MBDA Business Center, and local resource partners are qualified organizations that will work together on this program to serve the SEDI population. They all have the expertise to provide technical assistance for entrepreneurs starting or scaling their businesses who are seeking various forms of capital. Specifically, Women SEDI-owned and minority businesses that are applying, have previously applied, or plan to apply to an SSBCI capital program or other government program that supports small businesses.

The project will help SEDI entrepreneurs build capacity; attract and provide access to capital opportunities; and attract and provide access to networks. The service models include YWahine in Business Incubator (cohort focusing on early-stage technical assistance for new entrepreneurs), YWahine in Business Accelerator (cohort providing emerging-stage technical assistance to businesses ready to expand or scale), YWahine Pitch and Match My Business (technical assistance to SEDI entrepreneurs to access capital and apply for state SSBCI programs and/or other similar federal, state, or local government programs/funding), and wraparound services for new entrepreneurs and/or businesses in all stages of the business lifecycle as part of the offerings.

About the MBDA Capital Readiness Program

The Capital Readiness Program is a $125 million technical assistance program to help underserved entrepreneurs grow and scale their businesses. Once final awards are made, the awardees will launch and operate business incubators or accelerators designed to prepare underserved entrepreneurs to secure capital from the historic $10 billion State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) and other capital sources.

For more information on the MBDA Capital Readiness Program, locations, and list of awardees, under the Capital Readiness Program, visit

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YWCA O’ahu | 1040 Richards StreetHonolulu, HI 96813

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