The US SBA Native Hawaiian Organization (“NHO”) Program

In 2004, the DOD Appropriations Act (P.L. 108-87) placed Native Hawaiian Organization (NHO) owned firms in the same category as tribally-owned firms for DOD sole source 8(a) contracts. Eligible NHOs must own at least 51% of an 8(a) firm. The NHO 8(a) program was made permanent by Congress in 2006.


Who We Are

The Native Hawaiian Legal Defense & Education Fund (NHLDEF) d.b.a. the Ho'omaka Foundation is a Native Hawaiian Organization and Hawaii Nonprofit Corporation promoting education, economic viability, employment, housing, and healthcare opportunities for Native Hawaiians. We are the majority owner (51%) of for-profit subsidiaries competing primarily in the defense contracting industry. Each of our subsidiaries has an SBA 8(a) designation as an “economically and socially disadvantaged organization.” We are governed by an independent Board of Directors and Officers who do not have any personal ownership in any of our for-profit subsidiaries, and are not involved in day-to-day management of the 8(a) subsidiaries.



Ho'omaka was founded in 2005 to safeguard the civil rights and promote the economic viability of Native Hawaiians.


Ho'omaka is a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of Native Hawaiians by advocating and promoting their civil rights through legal/political efforts, education, and community economic development. Ho'omaka understands the unique position of Native Hawaiians in the United States socially, culturally, politically, and economically, and seeks to ensure that the rights and interests of all Native Hawaiians are protected.


Ho'omaka’s goal is to develop programs, policies, and laws that will protect both present and future generations of Native Hawaiians. Primary focus areas include self-determination, community empowerment, equality in employment, education, health, and housing.


Ho'omaka abides by the following values, as expressed in Native Hawaiian tradition as follows:

· Mālamalama (Wisdom) - He pohō o na ka pohō o i o ke akamai no ke hana nui. Losses come easily; it requires skill and wisdom to avoid them.

· Laulima (Unity) - ‘A ‘ohe hana nui ke alu ‘ia. No task is too big when done together by all.

· Ho‘omau (Perserverance) - He ‘a‘ali‘i ku makani mai au; ‘a‘ohe makani nana e kula‘i. The ‘a‘ali‘i bush that grows on the mountain ridges can stand the worst of gales, twisting and bending but not breaking off or falling over.

· Pono (Righteousness) - He ‘ike ‘ana ia ka pono. One sees the right thing to do and does it.