January 28, 2022

January 25, 2022


Hawai‘i Rising will provide extensive resources to help local Indigenous entrepreneurs grow online

Honolulu – Build Native with Shopify, a global initiative to provide Indigenous-identifying entrepreneurs with an authentic and culturally relevant platform, announced its new Hawai‘i Rising program in partnership with Mana Up, a Hawai'i-based accelerator and venture fund. Kicking off in February, Hawai‘i Rising is designed to serve Native Hawaiian, Native and Indigenous founders based in Hawai‘i. 

The free program spanning February to October 2022 will offer monthly workshops covering  key skill sets needed to run a business online including a live-website build, creating an online brand, marketing strategies and leadership, along with mentorship from Indigenous-identifying merchants, one-on-one office hours with Shopify experts, and access to Build Native with Shopify’s perks as part of their global community. Additionally, this program facilitates monthly meetups across the Hawaiian Islands to create connections between founders and promote peer-based learning. The goal of the program is to fuel online revenue growth and success for both founders who may not already have an online presence, and those who are looking to scale up this year.  

“Having been involved in the Hawai‘i community with Mana Up for almost four years, we knew there was an opportunity to further expand our support to empower entrepreneurs,” said Harley Finkelstein, President of Shopify. “Build Native with Shopify is a global Indigenous-led and built team focused on culturally relevant programming and inclusivity, and we're excited to extend these resources to Hawai‘i’s participants through the Hawai‘i Rising program.”

Build Native with Shopify strives to meet the needs of Native Hawaiian, Native and Indigenous business owners by helping local entrepreneurs build skill sets, confidence and resources in order to scale up and take their companies global. The initiative is designed to create a community around entrepreneurs and connect them to Shopify, a leading provider of essential internet infrastructure for commerce. To learn more

“We have already seen the massive impact Shopify’s resources and mentorship can have on businesses through our accelerator. In 2020, almost 70% of the Mana Up portfolio earned the majority of their revenue from e-commerce, up from 40% the year prior. Shopify makes this possible and opens up the world as potential customers for Hawai‘i-based businesses. We couldn’t be more optimistic about bringing this program to our community,” says Meli James, cofounder of Mana Up. 

To participate in Hawai‘i Rising, registrants must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be a Hawai‘i resident & headquartered in Hawai‘i 
  • Must identify as Native Hawaiian, Native, Indigenous or business owner
  • Must be an existing product or service-based business with the intention of selling online or currently selling online
  • Program participation commitment

If your company meets the criteria, apply Eligible entrepreneurs must apply by February 8, 2022 and the program will kick off on Thursday, February 10. To learn more about the program, the community is invited to register for an info session hosted by Mana Up and Build Native with Shopify on Thursday, February 3 at 12 p.m. HST by visiting

About Shopify 

Shopify is a leading global commerce company, providing trusted tools to start, grow, market, and manage a retail business of any size. Shopify makes commerce better for everyone with a platform and services that are engineered for reliability, while delivering a better shopping experience for consumers everywhere. Proudly founded in Ottawa, Shopify powers millions of businesses in more than 175 countries and is trusted by brands such as Manitobah Mukluks, Cheekbone Beauty, Sisters Sage, Her Braids, Uasau Soap, Tania Larsson, and many more. For more information,

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.  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, and to shop House of Mana Up, visit  



Courtney Liu

Communications & Marketing Manager