You love the green economy and all that it represents. Sustainability…compassion for all living things including people…healthy food…locally-owned businesses…

But when it comes down to it, you still love to be really good at stuff. Well, you’ve come to the right place. This page is designed to give you a jumpstart on your friends and family when you play GBO Hawaii.  🙂

Let’s start with the video that describes the idea of the game:


Now that you get the idea, here’s how to play the beginner version of the game, which is where you’ll most likely start.

Now…how about some strategy tips!

Start soon. Your businesses are earning dividends every turn (unless the oil industry lobbyists are in that county, in which case you get no dividends). So the earlier you start a business, the more money you’ll make in the long run, all else being equal. Thus, be aggressive at the beginning of the game and start a business or two on your first turn if you can. That said…

Start small. When you begin the game, look to start at least one business on your first turn, but if there is a smaller business that requires only 1 or 2 Resource Cards and no permits, for example, a Farmer’s Market, an Energy Efficiency Consulting Service, Outdoor Gear Consignment Store, or a CSA, you can start these businesses and not use all of your resources right off the bat. As the game progresses, you’ll see that resources become more limited (most of the time), so it’s a good idea to start small.










Apply for a permit, even if you don’t see an immediate need. Since there is bureaucracy built into the game, you will find that having a permit approved before you actually need it is critical at times. It’s a good idea to just go ahead and apply for a permit ($10,000 cost) on the first turn, because you have to wait a turn and then roll a die to see if it gets approved (a 6 roll and your permit is delayed). The businesses available for investment will change next turn as others start businesses, so odds are, there will be something that requires a permit that you’ll want to start fairly soon.







Smart use of your resources. Entrepreneur cards can be used as green collar workers, and Green MBA cards can be used as any Human Resource when you’re starting a business. But that doesn’t mean you should take the first opportunity that presents itself. If you use 3 entrepreneurs to start a business that requires just one entrepreneur and 2 green collar workers, you’re not making the best use of your resources. It happens…sometimes it just makes sense, and you want to start that business, but if you can, try to trade those entrepreneurs with other players in a 2-for-1 trade for green collar workers. Odds are, one of the other players may want that specific entrepreneur and wouldn’t mind giving up two of the less skilled workers for it

Bigger investments can be made more accessible. A wind farm or geothermal development or another business that costs $200K or more to start can pull much of your capital and leave you a little cash strapped. The dividends tend to be good, and the eco-credits can be excellent, but if you can cut some $$ off the initial cost, you’ll be well on your way to potentially winning the financial part of the game. Look for the Chance Card marked by the word “OPPORTUNITY!” at the top, and use it to invest in bigger businesses. Saving 25% off the investment cost of a large wind farm can put $75K right in your pocket!








Some businesses are better investments than others. Part of your challenge in the game is to start businesses that will help you win the game, simply because they’re better investments than the ones started by other players. To identify better investments, think about your Return on Investment (what business-nerds call ROI). If you invest $100K in a business and it pays $10K in dividends, that’s a 10% return, right? So look for businesses that produce better financial returns. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, look for businesses that produce a good environmental ROI, too. For instance, the organic food delivery service (CSA) helps you offset two cans of processed “FOOD” imports, and only costs $40K:








Jump on the dumptruck bandwagon. There are more barrels of oil and cans of processed “FOOD” to offset in the game, so if you can earn a few dumptrucks, you may get ahead in that category and win that field with just 2-3 dumptrucks in the whole game. Particularly keep an eye out for salvage businesses that offset two dumptrucks:











Check back in regularly or join our Facebook fan page! We’re adding more tips all the time! But for the time being, this should help you get ahead and rub it in when you have the best triple bottom line ROI!  🙂


Leave a Reply


Sustainable Enterprises Media, Inc.
Honolulu * San Francisco
(808) 312-0850

Follow us in social media--
buttons at the top of the page!

GBO Hawai'i is a registered Trademark of Sustainable Enterprises Media, Inc. Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.


Interested in becoming a green entrepreneur? According to Jeff Hollender, co-founder and former CEO of Seventh Generation, there has never been a better time. Find out why, and get started on your dream at Green Business Owner!

The Latest