New Program Will Help Women Entrepreneurs Rise

Central Pacific Bank Foundation is launching an accelerator program for women entrepreneurs.
Rising Tide Hero
Photo: Adobe Stock

The program, called WE by Rising Tide, is accepting online applications for its inaugural cohort of 20 women entrepreneurs through June 18. To apply, please visit

The 10-week program includes workshops designed for women entrepreneurs to hone financial management, marketing and leadership skills. Participants will also receive a host of benefits including networking with business leaders and advertising opportunities to promote their business. Grants from CPB Foundation and aio Foundation fund all curriculum and participant benefits.

To be considered, an applicant’s business must:

  • Be 51% woman owned.
  • Be in operation for at least 3 years and currently open for business.
  • Have yearly revenues ranging from $250,000 to $5,000,000 (2019 or 2020).

“Hawaiʻi’s entrepreneurs and small business owners create jobs and contribute to a more resilient, thriving economy. Within this space, we see an important opportunity to impact even greater diversity, supporting and empowering Hawai‘i’s ambitious women entrepreneurs who are innovating and working hard to grow their businesses,” said Catherine Ngo, CPB Foundation Chair.

The program’s curriculum was developed in close partnership with the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business and Leadership, Hawai‘i’s only Women’s Business Center as established by the YWCA Oʻahu and the U.S. Small Business Administration. The program’s framework aligns with MCBL’s mission to start and grow small businesses and to “level the playing field” for women entrepreneurs still facing unique business obstacles.

CPB Foundation also consulted with established women business owners and executives. The experience and insights of brands including Ari South, Fighting Eel, Highway Inn, Manuhealii, Mikinola, Mori by Art + Flea, and Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery will enhance the program. So to will the life lessons from CPB’s women directors as well as business leaders Christine Camp, Crystal Rose and Saedene Ota — all of whom will continue to actively mentor the inaugural cohort and build community around the WE by Rising Tide program.

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