Zonta Club of Hilo awards $6,000 in microgrants to 3 Big Island women entrepreneurs

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From left are Zonta Club of Hilo Pay It Forward Chairwoman Laurie Higashi with the 2023 microgrant program’s recipients Michelle Reynolds, Adrean Floro and Jamie Robertson. (Photo courtesy of the Zonta Club of Hilo)

The Zonta Club of Hilo recently presented $6,000 in microgrants through its 2023 Pay It Forward program in support of women entrepreneurs on the Big Island who are starting a new business or working to expand an existing business.

This year’s recipients are Michelle Reynolds of Hawai‘i Detection Dogs, Adrean Floro of Ho‘onani Harvests and Jamie Robertson of Hana Lima Cleaning Services.

“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 Zonta Club of Hilo Pay It Forward Chairwoman Laurie Higashi. “The Zonta Club of Hilo is proud to provide a financial boost to these three well-deserving women-owned businesses.”


Volcano-based Hawai‘i Detection Dogs trains and deploys sniffer dogs to detect invasive species to mitigate their impacts to ecosystems and endangered species for research and conservation purposes. Reynolds works with Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Pōhakuloa 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 buy training aids for nosework classes and training her own detection dogs.

Ho‘onani Harvests is a family farming business in Hilo focused on agroforestry, māmaki and honey production and beekeeping education. The grant will go toward renting machinery to expand the farm’s agroforestry, purchasing more māmaki starter plants and developing a website.


Floro also plans to “pay it forward” by providing a beekeeping mentoring scholarship to a financially disadvantaged woman with the drive and passion to learn about beekeeping.

Robertson of Kailua-Kona established Hana Lima Cleaning Services in July this year. The business 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 toward cleaning supplies, training and new equipment that will make Robertson’s operations more efficient.


Pay It Forward microgrants are funded annually through the charitable Zonta Club of Hilo Foundation, donations to which are tax-deductible. For more information, click here.

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