HNL SOUP is a micro-granting dinner that supports local ideas, projects, organizations, and businesses via crowdfunding of community dollars. In mid-September, HNL SOUP and Impact Hub HNL hosted the HNL SOUP ‘Solutions Showcase’ to feature the progress of three previous HNL SOUP winners.
What is HNL Soup?
HNL SOUP is a program brought to Honolulu by Samantha Ruiz, who was inspired after learning about the SOUP model in Detroit, Michigan. HNL SOUP is a part of a global network of community crowdfunding events. She says, “We hope that HNL SOUP changes the way people engage with the democratic process and increases our community’s creativity and collaboration.”
The premise is simple: each attendee donates $15 for a bowl of soup and bread from local chefs. The group then listens to the three project pitch about their organization and the work they do in the community. After listening to all three pitches, the audience votes on the winner: the project that receives the majority of votes wins the community chest.
HNL Soup Solutions Showcase
At the ‘Solutions Showcase’, community members learned how three former projects – HNL Tool Library, WerkArts, and WorkNet – utilized their community micro-grants to get their business off the ground, and how they could benefit from ongoing community support.
During the ‘Solutions Showcase’, HNL heard how community funds were instrumental for getting HNL Tool Library off the ground, and how the support from the community (both moral support and physical donations) inspired founder Elia Bruno.
WerkArts shared a similar story: learning that the community loved their bamboo bike idea helped them feel like they were on the right path with their company. Founders Krystle Marcellus and Barret Werk hope to get some of the parts fabricated outside of the U.S. to double their output over the next year. HNL also heard from Ruby Menon and Chas Williams of WorkNet, a non-profit that helps former inmates reintegrate into society with jobs, skills building, and housing.
The winner of the ‘Solutions Showcase’ was HNL Tool Library, which seeks to expand membership, build their inventory of available tools, continue to offer workshops, and expand into a self-sustaining non-profit.
We’ll be hosting another HNL SOUP in the future, so stay tuned for updates about when the next micro-granting dinner will be!