Ulu HI-Tech now has a federal contract advantage with SBA 8(a) certification

Ulu HI-Tech now has a federal contract advantage with SBA 8(a) certification 150 150 Ulu HI-Tech

HONOLULU – Hawaii-based company Ulu HI-Tech was officially accepted into the Small Business Administration 8(a) Program on September 7, 2022. This 9-year program allows the company to receive set-aside award and sole source award contracts from the federal government, creating more job opportunities and advantageous company teaming opportunities.

“Getting certified as an 8(a) company was well worth the time and effort,” says Hali’a Hester, CEO of Ulu HI-Tech. “Now we have a competitive edge in federal contracting that will not only benefit us, but the companies and people we work with. Part of our kuleana (responsibility) with our federal contracts is to prioritize hiring local talent and teaming up with local companies to get the job done.”

The Small Business Administration (SBA) 8(a) program also offers a simpler procurement option to federal contracting officers, who are required to contract a portion of their overall work to small, disadvantaged businesses that participate in the 8(a) program. Contracting officers benefit from the expedited sole-source 8(a) contract award process and exemption from competitive thresholds for Department of Defense 8(a) sole-source contract awards. Sole-source awards are contracts awarded, or proposed for award, without competition while set-aside awards are contracts in which only certain contractors may compete.

“When I found out about this SBA program, I was excited to see a path to provide for those who live here in Hawai’i and hopefully make a difference in our community,” Hester says. “That truly is my heart behind forming Ulu HI-Tech and our parent organization, Ke Kumu Ulu.”

Hester formed Ke Kumu Ulu, a Native Hawaiian Organization (NHO) non-profit, in 2021. The mission of Ke Kumu Ulu is to provide educational, business, and community activities and programs to Native Hawaiian people in the State of Hawaii. Currently, Ke Kumu Ulu is partnering with Ke Kula Kaiapuni ‘O Pūʻōhala to support STEAM initiatives for students, as well as Kula No Na Po’e Hawai’i for digital strategy and consulting.

“This 8(a) certification is also a win for Ke Kumu Ulu, because 51% of Ulu HI-Tech’s profits go the parent organization,” Hester says. “And those profits go right back into helping our local communities by funding programs and partnerships with fellow Native Hawaiian non-profits and institutions. It’s an amazing way to work with others to increase our positive impact throughout Hawai’i.”

For more information about Ulu HI-Tech or Ke Kumu Ulu, please email [email protected].
Learn more about the 8(a) program at SBA.gov.