Whole Planet Foundation Hosts Inaugural Benefit & Showcase in Hawaii

Event occurs June 24, 2022
Jun 14, 2022 7:30 PM ET
Campaign: Whole Planet

June 14, 2022 /3BL Media/ - Whole Planet Foundation is excited to announce the return of in-person events with a private benefit and showcase on June 24, 2022, at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii, in partnership with Whole Foods Market Hawaii stores and Mana Up, Hawaii’s leading incubator.

Since 2010, Whole Planet Foundation, a Whole Foods Market nonprofit, has worked to alleviate poverty in Polynesia and Melanesia where Whole Foods Market sources products like Yellow Fin and Big Eye Tuna. In Fiji, Samoa, The Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu, Whole Planet Foundation has disbursed $2.245 million to trusted, vetted microfinance partners to provide low-income entrepreneurs with the chance to create or expand a home-based business and lift themselves and their families out of poverty. In May, the Foundation committed $500,000 to support loans for more than 600 people affected by the January 2022 eruption of the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano.

“We are excited to host a mission-driven event in Oahu to celebrate Whole Planet Foundation’s programs in Polynesia and our commitment to expanding opportunities for Hawaiian made brands and the local community,” said Scot Kerivan, Store Team Leader, Whole Foods Market Kahala Mall store in Honolulu. The Whole Foods Market Queen store and Whole Foods Market Kailua store are also proud supporters.

We’re thrilled to collaborate with Whole Foods Market as many of our program graduates including Kō Hana Rum, Sea Salts of Hawai‘i and Mānoa Chocolate have expanded their retail to Whole Foods locations across the Islands and even on the U.S. mainland. We love Whole Planet Foundation’s mission of celebrating female and Hawai‘i-based entrepreneurs as this aligns with our values,” said Meli James, Mana Up co-founder.

The event will feature emcee Brook Lee, former Miss Universe, and will honor Andy Allo, star of Amazon’s Upload show and Greg Louganis, four-time Olympic gold medalist and whose birth father is of Samoan origin, for their decade of support of Whole Planet Foundation events.  Hālau Mele will offer a special blessing at the start of the celebration and in the Hawaiian Hall of the Bishop Museum.

The event will showcase artists and performances by Kulāiwi, Justin Kawika Young, Aloha Got Soul and more.

There will be a marketplace featuring more than 20 Mana Up companies including Tag Aloha, Vitalitea Hawai‘i, Kapa Nui Nails, ‘Ulu Mana, Big Island Coffee Roasters and Utara Organics, plus a bar with specialty cocktails handcrafted by Kō Hana Rum and Pono Potions. The event will also highlight other local brands, including Bubbies Ice Cream, CocoJava Hawaii, Hawaiian Host, Maui Brewing Co., Mauna Loa, Waiākea Hawaiian Volcanic Water, Manoa Honey, Shaka Tea, Waikiki Marriott and more.

The event is supported by recognized Hawaiʻi and national brands retailed in Whole Foods Market, including presenting sponsor Papyrus-Recycled Paper Greetings, Inc. which has donated $850,000 since 2014 to fund more than 20,000 microloans and create 106,700 opportunities for impoverished entrepreneurs and their family members to lift themselves out of poverty.

“We are excited to continue to work with Whole Planet Foundation and Whole Foods Market which extends nationally and to Hawaii,” said Sara Sadaghiani, Regional Vice President of Sales for Papyrus-Recycled Paper Greetings, Inc. “Giving back is an integral part of our company’s mission, vision, and values – we make the world a more thoughtful and caring place. Every. Single. Day.” 

Special thanks to leading sponsors Mauna Loa, Bubbies Ice Cream, Health-Ade, ALOHA and contributing sponsors ALO Drink, Klean Kanteen, Natreve, Mad Hippie, Olipop and Thaiwala who will feature their products at the event and have donated to support Whole Planet Foundation’s poverty alleviation programs. Other event supporters include Burt’s Bees, Natural Vitality, Renew Life, Country Archer, ITO EN, Lifeway Kefir, PACT, The Republic of Tea, Seaweed Bath Co., Sennheiser and WishGarden Herbs. ALOHA, a Certified B-Corporation, is generously providing branded gift bags for the event.

The event is produced in collaboration with Planet LA Records, a producer of Whole Planet Foundation for over 10 years, and co-producer of the music showcase benefiting the Foundation during the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.

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About Whole Planet Foundation

Founded in 2005, Whole Planet Foundation’s mission is to empower the world’s poorest people with microcredit and the chance to create or expand a home-based business and lift themselves and their families out of poverty. As of March 2022, the Foundation is alleviating poverty through microfinance partners in the United States and 79 other countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. To date, the nonprofit has disbursed $98 million dollars through microlending partners worldwide, funding 5.9 million microloans and 30 million opportunities for a better life for microentrepreneurs and their family members.

About Mana Up

Mana Up is an accelerator and venture fund for Hawaiʻi-based products growing to markets globally, with the mission to increase economic opportunity and jobs for the people of Hawaiʻi. To date, 63 local companies have graduated from the six-month accelerator program that provides expansion opportunities and helps solve business challenges, and an additional 11 companies are participating in its program this year. In 2020, Mana Up’s portfolio had an average of $923,290 in annual revenue and an average annual growth rate of 65%. House of Mana Up is the company’s retail initiative including an online shop, corporate gifting and a brick-and-mortar location at Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikīkī, highlighting products and entrepreneurs who have participated in the accelerator.

Mana Up is supported by Kamehameha Schools, DFS Hawai‘i, Castle & Cooke Hawai‘i, Hawaiian Airlines, American Savings Bank, Ulupono Initiative, Dole Plantation, Kaiser Permanente Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Technology Development Corporation, Innovate Hawai‘i, UHA Health Insurance, Pineapple Tweed, Shopify, The Kahala Hotel & Resort, and Foodland.

For more information about the accelerator program, visit www.manauphawaii.com, and to shop House of Mana Up, visit houseofmanaup.com

For more information about Whole Planet Foundation, the event or media inquiries, please contact:

Joy Stoddard, Development & Outreach Director, joy.stoddard@wholefoods.com

For more information about Mana Up, please contact:

Courtney Liu, Communications & Marketing Manager, 808-497-5387, courtney@manauphawaii.com