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Economic Initiatives Critical For Youths’ Future

Rep. Richard Fale

I had the pleasure to serve as a judge at the recent Lemonade Alley Competition at the Hyatt Regency in Waikiki. This annual event is sponsored by the nonprofit BizGym Foundation, whose mission is to “make business fun through empowering kids with essential life skills that can be applied for the good of all.”

There were nine teams participating this year, entered in four categories from grades K to 12. They had to create original lemonade recipes, come up with a theme for their booth and give a one-minute pitch to the judges.

Lemonade Alley is a great opportunity for young entrepreneurs. Our kids need to be out-ofthe-box creative thinkers to thrive in the 21st century. We need to encourage more opportunities for similar events in Hawaii.

One particular booth caught my attention. Two elementary school brothers created the product, “We Kea Lemonade.” They learned how to streamline their production process and product assembly, while collaborating on product presentation and division of team labor. They took their assignment seriously and had fun at the same time!

This is exactly the type of atmosphere we need to encourage in our youths, since these skills are transferrable to the adult world. Product assembly, division of labor and marketing all are skills that successful business owners are familiar with.

HAWAII GROWTH INITIATIVE

Hawaii Growth Initiative (HGI) is a program that will fund the Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation (HDSC). The purpose of HGI is to attract entrepreneurial talent and private capital to Hawaii’s high-growth business opportunities by supporting an entrepreneurial ecosystem, partnering research activities with state and private industry, and networking business to sources of mainland and international capital investment.

The HGI and HDSC are the types of public policy initiatives that young entrepreneurs like our Lemonade Alley participants should look forward to in the future. Why can’t the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs come from Hawaii?

HGI had overwhelming support from both the public and private sector, including the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii. We need to support this and similar measures that will grow our local business community.

This will increase jobs in our state and at the same time increase the tax base. HGI is a far better idea than increasing taxes on our No. 1 industry – the visitor industry.

I support HB858, the Hawaii Growth Initiative. Bills like this help to diversify our economy and at the same time develop new opportunities. This is the message that we want to send to the business sector: Hawaii is open for business.

To contact us, please call 586-6380. You also can email repfale@capitol.hawaii.gov or visit us at the Hawaii State Capitol, Room 319.

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