Impact Hub locations around the world are focused on making an impact, and the Impact Hub network uses the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a guiding framework for how we define impact. If you not familiar with the goals, check out our article here to learn why we think the SDGs are pretty awesome.
Our social impact focus areas here at Impact Hub HNL include sustainability and education, and we work hard to create events for the general public, opportunities for members, and recurring programming that allows our members and community to create impact and build awareness.
As a company focused on impact, we give back. Each of our large events has a direct financial benefit for organizations that we are committed to supporting:
- Our Grand Opening, in January 2018, was a benefit for Aloha Harvest, and our most recent Bollywood Night was a benefit for Pu’uhonua O Waianae and the Aloha Lives Here campaign.
- Each of our ImpactART Gallery openings supports a local organization of the artist’s choosing.
- We teach others how to do well and do good. For our keiki marketplace, student entrepreneurs vote with their dollars to support a local non-profit. We also partner with organizations for coworking and event ImpactMaker scholarships for those doing good in the world.
We offer scholarships to increase access to innovation for everyone:
- Last year we gave over $10,800 in ImpactMaker scholarships and we are projected to give at least $15,000 in 2019!
- We started the ImpactSCHOLAR program in an effort to support local university and college students. We offer 5 unlimited memberships to every accredited college program in the state annually – that’s over $75,000/year in scholarships to grow entrepreneurship here in the islands. As we grow, we look forward to having students on neighboring islands and other communities join us in impact.
When our space made its Magnum P.I. debut before the holidays, we gave the proceeds back to our members and spent the rest on Holiday BBQ for Ka Po’e O Kaka’ako (KPOK, The People of Kaka’ako), the local houseless community in Kaka’ako. After the initial BBQ, we were so inspired by their community-building efforts, we started participating in weekly park clean-up efforts to beautify the area surrounding the Children’s Discovery Center and surrounding streets; many on our team volunteer regularly at the KPOK weekly neighborhood cleanups- and you can join too!
We are also home to a variety of sustainability-focused member organizations that make a huge difference in our local and global community, like Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, Surfrider Foundation, Conservation International, Zero-Waste Oahu, Kanu Hawaii and more.
Providing inspiring spaces for collaboration between local social impact organizations is what we do at a basic level; making introductions, seeking out like-minded organizations and seeing what they do together lifts the whole community.
Here’s a highlight of some of the recent sustainability-focused programming and events:
- Trash to Treasure Cleanup + Art Event with Pena People and over 15 other local partner organizations. This sustainability marketplace had over 15 vendors with local zero waste products, live art with marine debris, food, and live music.
- Zero Waste Ambassador Trainings: Have you heard about Zero Waste Oahu? ZWO is piloting a zero waste business program here in hopes that it can be scaled to other businesses local businesses.
- Zero Waste Audit: For a week, and with a lot of help from Jennifer Milholen of Kokua Hawaii Foundation, we sorted all of our waste to isolate practical ways we could cut down on landfill waste. We also eliminated single use plastic from all events at Impact Hub – over 200 just last year.
- HNL Soup Solutions Showcase: An event to highlight some of the island’s coolest alternative transportation and green ideas with this fun microgranting event.
- Get Engaged! SDG-focused events: Social Justice Volunteers Outreach Event and hosting events to educate the general public on the SDGs. Did you know the governor mandated all Hawaii state agencies to use the SDG framework for all future planning?
We also focus our efforts to support educators, students, and policymakers and empower the community with a range of business and personal educational opportunities.
Some of the education-focused events we host include:
- A free, monthly Freelancer & Entrepreneur event to help support small businesses;
- A free, bi-monthly Women’s Finance event, to educate and empower women to learn more about business & personal finance;
- We are a community partner with Hawaii Women in Filmmaking and PBS Hawaii for the Indie Lens Pop-Up Film Series, which highlights important social justice issues across the US;
- Our annual Keiki Marketplace, which supports over 25 student entrepreneurs to develop sustainable businesses with social impact in mind.
- Education policy events: we provide space free of charge for educators, parents, students, and administrators to discuss education policy that improves public education. We have hosted Hope Street Group, Teach For America, Hawaii KidsCAN, and a new group of inspiring educators who support each other in writing real stories about education in Hawaii, WRITE with #Educate808
In these ways and many others, we demonstrate our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, and as a company we hope to inspire other individuals and organizations to continue to do well, and do good in our community. This mission of helping businesses do well and do good, will continue to guide our programming and offerings, and we look forward to growing our impact together.