Entrepreneurship from Education: Creating successful 21st century businesses from public high school vocational programs in rural, isolated

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 2008-00237
Amount: $75,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
84-1170 FARRINGTON HWY STE 2, Waianae, HI, 96792
DUNS: 794764394
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Ric Gresia
 Business Director / COO
 (808) 695-8200
Business Contact
 Ric Gresia
Title: Business Director / COO
Phone: (808) 695-8200
Email: ric@makahastudios.com
Research Institution
Many youth growing up today in some of America's isolated, rural communities have few gainful employment opportunities in their home communities since many of these communities do not have diverse and strong local economies. The proposed Entrepreneurship from Education project seeks to address this problem in one such community, the isolated and impoverished Wai'anae Coast on the western part of the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Investigators and staff of Makaha Studios LLC ( www.makahastudios.com ) believe that they can use answers discovered during project research to spark the creation of a thriving local digital media production industry on the Wai'anae Coast that will contribute to community economic revitalization and create excellent career opportunities for local youth in today's rapidly growing global information economy. For youth, especially Native Hawaiian youth, living in isolated rural island communities like Wai'anae, the emergence of networked digital technologies represents an opportunity to overcome the low socioeconomic status that has beset residents and their communities throughout the Industrial Age. Given the strong connection to Hawaiian culture and the growing worldwide market for authentic indigenous products and performances that are based on the artistically rich traditions (storytelling, music, dance, visual arts) of Native Hawaiian culture, community partners, including the project investigators from Makaha Studios, are confident that Wai'anae Coast youth have the ability to engage new and emerging technologies to turn their cultural, historical, and linguistic insights into socially and commercially meaningful stories, songs, movies and entertainment. This philosophy leads to the core driving belief of the partnership: By mastering digital media technologies and leveraging the artistic richness of their native host culture, Wai'anae Coast youth can thrive in the new and emerging global information economy. The long-term goal of the Entrepreneurship from Education project is to leverage the success of Searider Productions by launching a small, but thriving digital media industry on the Wai'anae Coast. The partnership recently launched a for-profit social enterprise production company, Makaha Studios LLC, whose offices are less than a quarter mile from the campus of Wai'anae High School and Searider Productions. As a social enterprise, Makaha Studios will donate a significant portion of revenues towards supporting media education programs on the coast, and also offer internship positions to community college and high school students in the community. Staffed almost entirely by young SP graduates and a few community college interns, Makaha Studios represents the first step toward making a Wai`anae Coast digital media industry a reality. Senior staff members of Makaha Studios seek to use government funding to conduct research whose results can be used to increase the likelihood of the successful development of a thriving digital media industry on the Wai'anae Coast.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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