Michelle Carpenter of Aloha Complex Care wins MEO business plan contest | News, Sports, Jobs

Michelle Carpenter of Aloha Complex Care wins MEO business plan contest | News, Sports, Jobs

Michelle Carpenter, owner of Aloha Complex Care, captured the first place grant of $20,000 in Maui Economic Opportunity Business Development Center’s Core Four Best Business Plan Competition. Photo courtesy MEO

KAHULUI–Michelle Carpenter, owner of a concierge health care business for clients and families with caregiving needs, produced the top business plan and earned a $20,000 grant in Maui Economic Opportunity’s third annual Core Four Best Business Plan Competition.

Carpenter’s business plan for Aloha Complex Care LLC was one of eight to win grants ranging from $20,000 to $5,000 as part of the contest run by MEO’s Business Development Center and funded by Maui County through the Office of Economic Development.

Twenty-one startup business plans were submitted and judged by Wayne Wong, Hawaii Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Maui Director; Fred Rickert, SBDC Maui Senior Business Adviser, and Gerry Smith, retired business development consultant and senior budget analyst for the U.S. Department of Defense on Maui.

The proprietors of the businesses completed one of six Core Four Business Plan Courses held in 2023-24. Judging was based on business plan narrative and summary, marketing plan, operational plan, cash flow projections and economic diversity impact to Maui’s economy.

The other seven winners follow:

• Second Place. $15,000 award, Maui Walking Tours LLC, owner Keith DeVey.

• Third Place. $15,000, Café Wa’a, Shawn Leong and Angie Corpuz.

• Fourth Place. $10,000, Ano Farms, Catalina Araki.

• Fifth Place. $5,000, Luau Creamery LLC, Wailani Artates.

• Sixth Place. $5,000, C.H.E.S.S (Cardio Health Environmental Safety Systems), Gary Candido.

• Seventh Place. $5,000, Queens, Tracey Robinson.

• Eighth Place. $5,000, Maui Microgreens, Joshua Farin.

MEO Business Development Center’s Core Four business planning classes and the Best Business Plan Contest are funded through the County of Maui’s Office of Economic Development. The Core Four Business Planning Course, which provides a total of 24 hours of instruction in-person and via Zoom, covers writing a business plan and provides the information needed to start, operate and grow a business. It is geared for those thinking of starting a business or who are just starting and need direction. It is offered multiple times during the year on Maui and Moloka’i.

The course cost is $75, and financial assistance is available upon request. For more information about Core Four, call (808) 249-2990.

Aloha Complex Care’s story

Carpenter said the Core Four series helped her “pinpoint crucial gaps in my business plan that, if left unaddressed, could have led to significant financial setbacks.” The class led her to take a systematic and thought-provoking approach to developing a comprehensive and resilient business plan. She also found the cash-flow worksheet a valuable tool, to which she continually refers.

As a concierge care coordinator, she and her company coordinate and support clients and their families with challenges, such as housing, home-care services, medical management and legal and financial issues. She acts as a liaison between the client, family and other professionals and as a client advocate in care coordination.

For example, a recent client needed 24/7 private care but could only afford 10 to 12 hours. Through her knowledge and problem-solving approach, the family, private caregivers and technology, such as Blink cameras, allowed the client to spend her last days at home in her apartment.

Carpenter will be using the $20,000 grant to make “significant investments” in technical devices, such as more Blink cameras, a motorized stair chair for clients in condos without elevators, a gurney that can be transformed into a chair, voice-activated devices, wheelchairs, electric hospital beds and more.

A registered nurse, Carpenter came to Maui during the COVID-19 pandemic as a travel case manager for Maui Memorial Medical Center, her website says.

Carpenter formed Aloha Complex Care in August 2022 and took the Core Four class series in January 2023. She has been working with five to eight clients.

Aloha Complex Care can be reached by phone at (808) 269-5463 and by email at [email protected].

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