Mana Up and travel2change partner to highlight local entrepreneurs

January 27, 2022

By   –  Reporter, Pacific Business News

Accelerator Mana Up and nonprofit travel2change have launched a new partnership to promote products from local makers.

The two groups have created a limited-edition gift set filled with Hawaii-made goods — including such items as organic macadamia nuts with sea salt from Island Harvest, a chocolate bar from Manoa Chocolate, and a reusable food wrap from Meli Wraps. The gift set will be available through Mana Up’s retail branch, House of Mana Up, through the end of the year.

Mana Up is an accelerator and venture fund for Hawaii-based companies, while travel2change connects visitors with volunteer opportunities at various host sites. Both organizations aim to strengthen the local economy — an alignment that led to the partnership.

“I started to notice that we had some of the same partners,” Mondy Jamshidi Kent, executive director of travel2change, told PBN about the origins of the partnership. “For example, Manoa Chocolate is one of our sites that also is a Mana Up company that has gone through their cohort program. … I just saw this commonality of these businesses who are based here and are interested in creating a more regenerative future for Hawaii and keeping dollars circulating locally.”

Mana Up will donate 10% of the proceeds from the gift set to travel2change, with the code “travel2change” at checkout.

“Mana Up and travel2change share a common mission to diversify Hawaii’s economy in a way that benefits our local community,” said Meli James, cofounder of Mana Up, in a statement. “Together with travel2change, we’re excited to celebrate our local rising entrepreneurs and their products, all while promoting community-driven visitor experiences that help give back to the environment or cultural traditions.”

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