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The Hawaii Korean Chamber of Commerce
Special Message

Supporting our entrepreneurs and rewarding innovation
By Lt. Governor James R. "Duke" Aiona

Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona

Business ownership has always been a cornerstone of the American dream and I am committed to ensuring our entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to succeed. It is these individuals from many different walks of life, who provide the backbone of our state and national economies.

While some believe big businesses drive our economies, our small businesses, in fact, do much of the "heavy lifting." In Hawai’i, for instance, small businesses represent approximately 98 percent of all our businesses.

That is why we must encourage a small business climate that promotes diversity, encourages innovation, develops new jobs and provides collaboration with the public sector to help solve many of today's important public policy challenges.

With the development of the Internet and other technologies, advances over the last 15 years have profoundly changed the world, making it easier for people to communicate with each other and to shift capital around the globe.

For instance, people from different countries can work together on the same project in real time. A bio-engineer in Hawai’i can collaborate with a software programmer in California and a banker in China.

Thus, the reality is that the future economic fortunes of our state will be determined by the capabilities and creativity of our people, and by their ability to work and communicate effectively with others from around the world.

Many advances with new technologies, such as in the energy and high tech sectors, create business and job opportunities that did not previously exist in our state.

One example can be seen with the biofeul company, Phycal, which is planning to employ cutting-edge technology to extract lipids from algae on non-productive land to generate clean energy and reduce our dependence on foreign fossil fuel.

Successful technologies developed in Hawai’i and implemented throughout the world provide a win-win for Hawai’i businesses by helping to grow and diversify our economy and create jobs in the state.

I believe that to be a true leader, innovation, entrepreneurship and stewardship need to be encouraged, nurtured and rewarded.