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Accepting Applications through July 31, 2023

The Zonta Club of Hilo is accepting microgrant applications to provide funding for women-owned small businesses on Hawai‘i Island. Women entrepreneurs who are seeking financial support are encouraged to apply.

The Pay It Forward program goal is to help women in our community start up or expand a business through a microgrant intended to give a helping hand. The grant will be up to $2,000. Awardees are encouraged to “Pay It Forward” when they are financially able.

“Helping women to succeed and improve our communities advances the mission of Zonta. Pay It Forward is one of the many programs our club offers to empower women and girls through service and advocacy,” said Zonta Club of Hilo President Julie Tulang.

The Pay It Forward program of the local chapter of Zonta was launched in 2014 with an initial generous donation from Nancy Cabral, a Zonta member and owner of Day-Lum Rentals & Management, Inc. Cabral’s desire was to encourage other women to achieve financial independence and business success. Since its inception, many other generous donors have contributed to these microgrants for women entrepreneurs.

If you have any questions, please email

Applications are being accepted by midnight HST on July 31, 2023 by filling out this online application:


Download Pay It Forward Grant Application Info (PDF)

Download Pay It Forward Flyer (PDF)

$6,000 in 2023 Pay it Forward Microgrants

The Zonta Club of Hilo presented $6,000 in microgrants for its 2023 “Pay It Forward” program.  The award program supports women entrepreneurs on Hawai‘i Island who are starting a new business or working to expand an existing business.

The 2023 microgrant recipients were Michelle Reynolds of Hawaii Detection Dogs LLC, Adrean Floro of Ho’onani Harvests LLC, and Jamie Robertson of Hana Lima Cleaning Services LLC.

Based in Volcano, Reynolds’ Hawaii Detection Dogs LLC trains and deploys sniffer dogs to detect both invasive species in order to mitigate their impacts to ecosystems and endangered species for research and conservation purposes. She currently works with Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, the Pohakuloa Training Area, and the State of Hawai‘i with detection of endangered seabirds. She will use the grant to develop her website, purchase a new kennel, and to purchase training aids for both nosework classes and training her own detection dogs.

Floro’s Ho’onani Harvests LLC is a family farming business in Hilo that focuses on agroforestry, mamaki and honey production, and beekeeping education. The grant will go towards renting machinery to expand the agroforestry part of the farm, purchasing more mamaki starter plants, and developing a website. She also plans to ‘pay it forward’ by providing a beekeeping mentoring scholarship to a financially disadvantaged woman who has the drive and passion to learn about beekeeping.

Robertson, based in Kailua-Kona, established Hana Lima Cleaning Services LLC in July of 2023. Hana Lima offers office cleaning as well as specialty cleaning services such as deep cleaning, move in/move outs, and post-construction cleaning. The grant money will go towards new equipment that will make her operations more efficient, cleaning supplies, and training.

“We received a record number of applications this year from all around the island. It’s inspiring to see so many female entrepreneurs doing innovative and important work in the community,” said Laurie Higashi, chair of Pay It Forward. “The Zonta Club of Hilo is proud to provide a financial boost to these three well-deserving women-owned businesses.”

“Pay It Forward” microgrants are funded annually through the charitable Zonta Club of Hilo Foundation, donations to which are tax-deductible.

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