Sustainable Small Businesses Move Forward on the Olympic Peninsula

June 23, 2017 (Forks, Washington) — Fifteen emerging entrepreneurs from coastal communities along the Emerald Edge of the Olympic Peninsula concluded a four-day Entrepreneurship Intensive June 14-18 at the University of Washington Olympic Natural Resource Center in Forks. The participants are finalists in the 2017 Washington Coast Works Small Business Competition vying for up to $10,000 in startup financing.

The Intensive focused on entrepreneurship, the fundamentals of a triple bottom line business model, and the role that small businesses can play in building resilient and conservation-oriented local economies. The 2017 Coast Works Title Sponsor is KeyBank. Additional support is provided by the Jamestown-S’Klallam Tribe, Bank of the Pacific, Port of Port Angeles, and Washington State Department of Commerce.

“Now the real work begins,” says Mike Skinner, Director of the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship and the Washington Coast Works Administrator. “Participants have been immersed in business fundamentals and strategies needed to develop a triple bottom line business model,” adds Skinner. “They now move forward with ongoing training and one-on-one technical assistance from experienced business advisors to apply what they have learned.”

Finalists will present their written case statement and a five-minute “fast pitch” to a panel of independent judges in late Fall . Past and present Coast Works entrepreneurs, sponsors, funders, partners, and folks from the Coast Works communities will be invited to celebrate the finalists and help launch a new Coast Works Alliance.

Kriska Obermiller from Sequim, is starting a Native storytelling business. “I’m so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and attended this training,” she says. “I met some amazing people. We are the dream warriors, and this is where it starts.”

Jess Foss, from Amanda Park, participated last year and re-applied with a new business venture that resources byproducts of his biodiesel-powered stump grinding business. “Coast Works has changed my life,” says Foss. “I didn’t think it was possible to start my own business. Now, I’m up and running and sales are growing fast.”

To learn about sponsorship and mentoring opportunities or how to contribute to the prize money through our crowd-funding campaign, visit www.wacoastworks.org, or contact Mike Skinner at (206) 235-6029.

 

Fifteen Sustainable Small Businesses Move Forward with Washington Coast Works

MAY 31, 2017 (Seattle, Washington) — Fifteen emerging entrepreneurs from coastal communities in Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Counties, have been selected as finalists to participate in an intensive small-business training for the 2017 Washington Coast Works Sustainable Small Business Competition.

The Coast Works Intensive, to be held at the Olympic Natural Resource Center in Forks, Washington on June 14-18, will include workshops on entrepreneurship, business development, and sustainability. Following the Intensive, finalists will have access to one-on-one technical assistance from experienced business advisors to develop and refine their business concepts, and become eligible to compete for up to $10,000 in startup financing.

Participating businesses include a bio-diesel soap business, a local meat butcher, a u-pick berry business, eco-tourism, agri-tourism and cultural tourism businesses, a winemaker, a tree-free artisan paper business, local food and tea businesses, native weaving and jewelry businesses, an up-cycling nonprofit, an online marketplace for local natural fibers, , and a native seafood marketing business — all “triple-bottom-line” businesses designed to profitably generate significant social and environmental benefits.

The 2017 Coast Works Title Sponsor is KeyBank. Additional prize funding and support is provided by Bank of the Pacific, Port of Port Angeles, and Washington State Department of Commerce. Coast Works winners will be announced in October.

“The competition gave me a new lease on life — something that I want to do for my community,” said Jean Ramos, a prior Coast Works winner. “I want to build our community.” Ramos has successfully launched SovereigNDNTea, a Queets business selling Native medicinal tea made from sustainably foraged Bog Labrador.

The complete calendar of events leading up to the competition is available at www.wacoastworks.org, or contact Mike Skinner at (206) 235-6029.

Story Contacts:

Mike Skinner, Administrator, Washington Coast Works

O: 425.243-7366 | C: 206.235-6029  |  E: mike.skinner@cie-nw.org

Robin Stanton, The Nature Conservancy

P: 206.436.6274  |  E: rstanton@tnc.org

 

Sustainable Small Business Competition Deadline is Next Monday

MAY 17, 2017 (Olympia, Washington) — Midnight on Monday, May 22, is the deadline for applications for the 2017 Washington Coast Works Sustainable Small Business Competition. Fifteen finalists will be chosen to participate in intensive training, network building, and a chance to win up to $10,000 to move their business ideas forward. All businesses must be “triple bottom line” enterprises that build leadership, keep money local, and contribute to the conservation of local natural resources. Applications and instructions can be downloaded at www.wacoastworks.org/apply.

Applications received to date are start-up businesses focused on natural fibers, sustainable small farms, and sustainable local food products.

“In past years, the competition focused on coastal communities”, says Mike Skinner, Washington Coast Works Administrator. “This year, the competition also includes communities along the Strait of Juan de Fuca and as a result, many of our applications are coming from the Port Angeles area.”

The complete calendar of events leading up to the competition is available at www.wacoastworks.org, or contact Mike Skinner at (206) 235-6029.

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Washington Coast Works was established by The Nature Conservancy in collaboration with the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship, the Taala Fund, and the Olympic Natural Resources Center. The program is designed to diversify the economies in Pacific, Wahkiakum, Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Counties through the development of new small businesses, build business leadership in local communities, grow a constituency that supports conservation and sustainable natural resource use, and ultimately contribute to a new vision of sustainable community and economic development on the Washington Coast

Last Chance to Enter Coast Works 2017 Sustainable Small Business Competition

MAY 4, 2017 (Olympia, Washington) — The deadline for applications for this year’s Washington Coast Works Sustainable Small Business Competition is May 22, 2017. Up to 15 finalists will be selected for intensive training, network building, and a chance to win up to $10,000 to move their business ideas forward.  The competition is open to people from coastal communities on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula with ideas for small businesses that build leadership, keep money local, and contribute to the conservation of local natural resources. Applications and instructions can be downloaded at www.wacoastworks.org/apply.

Washington Coast Works was established by The Nature Conservancy, in collaboration with the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship, the Taala Fund, and the Olympic Natural Resources Center. The program is designed to diversify the economies in Pacific, Wahkiakum, Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Counties through the development of new small businesses, build business leadership in local communities, grow a constituency that supports conservation and sustainable natural resource use, and ultimately contribute to a new vision of sustainable community and economic development on the Washington Coast.

To date, thirty emerging entrepreneurs have participated in the Coast Works competition with a wide range of “triple bottom line” business ideas including fish waste infused biochar fertilizer, sustainably foraged bog Labrador tea, paper-crete landscaping materials, community food waste digesters, Quileute-caught fresh smoked salmon, off-grid ecological learning centers, local food cooperatives, sustainable farming, bio-diesel powered stump grinding, sustainable tiny-homes, and many more

To learn more about the competition, visit our website at www.wacoastworks.org, or contact Mike Skinner, Coast Works Administrator, at (206) 235-6029.

 

Coast Works Builds Sustainable Connections

Jean Ramos and Laurel Shearer met at the Coast Works Community Conversation in Aberdeen last March, and they came up with an idea.

Ramos is an elder member of the Quinault Indian Nation living in Queets, Washington. After winning the 2015 Coast Works business plan competition, she launched Tribal SovereigNDNTea, a local business selling Native medicinal tea made from sustainably foraged

Bog Labrador. Bog Labrador, a relative of the Rhododendron, grows abundantly in the rain forests of the Olympic Peninsula. “Native Americans are the original sustainable society,” says Ramos. “That’s why I chose Labrador tea.  We take some and we leave some.” Her business is taking off.

Shearer, a self-taught confectioner and chocolatier, is a Seattle transplant now living in Aberdeen, Washington. She participated in the 2016 Coast Works competition and is now working to launch laurieAnnie (one word, and the “l” in laurie is meant to be lower case), a business that will make locally crafted artisan candies.

“Another participant in last year’s Coast Works competition has been helping me develop my business and suggested making a lozenge,” says Ramos. “I thought it would be interesting to see if Laurel could make a candy using my tea. I didn’t expect Laurel to take the idea seriously, but she did.”

Shearer worked as an accountant for 30 years. She sees her new business as an opportunity to bring her creative side to her work. “Cooking has been my life-long joy,” says Shearer. “Experimenting with foods and flavors has become second nature.”

Shearer and Ramos traded products. A week later, Shearer sent samples of tea-infused chocolates to people in her network for feedback. The result was rave reviews. The chocolates were indescribably delicious and unique.

“Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups has nothing on Jean and Laurel,” exclaims Mike Skinner, who helps administer the Coast Works initiative. “What about sustainably harvested huckleberries, wild blueberries, even spruce tips? The possibilities for regionally flavored candies is limited only by Laurel’s imagination and Jean’s knowledge of traditional Native foods.”

What other regional flavors should Laurel and Jean consider? Our next Community Conversation will be on Tuesday, April 25, from 6:00pm to 7:30pm, at the Lincoln Center in Port Angeles, Washington. Come share your ideas, and explore other ways small businesses can work together to build community resilience and sustainable well-being on the Olympic Peninsula.

Have a business idea you’d like to explore? Coast Works is currently accepting applications for the 2017 round of the competition. The deadline is May 22, 2017. Download your application today at www.wacoastworks/apply. Help us spread the word!

Now Accepting Applications

Got an idea for a small business that builds leadership, keeps money local, and contributes to the conservation of local natural resources?

Coast Works is now accepting applications. Download an application form at www.wacoastworks.org/apply  today! The deadline for applications is May 22, 2017.

Up to 15 finalists will be selected for intensive training, mentorship, network building and a chance to win up to $10,000 to move their business idea forward.

To learn more, and help build the network, attend our free Community Conversation in Port Angeles on April 25th. The event is free. You do not need to register. You bring the good ideas. We’ll provide the pizza. See details at www.wacoastworks.org/calendar.

Key Bank Foundation Presents Sponsorship Check

We are very grateful for the support from our Title Sponsor, Key Bank Foundation. Key Bank’s Michael Fait (center) and Joshua King (far left) presented their check to the Coast Works team (CIE’s Mike Skinner on the far right next to Garrett Dalan of The Nature Conservancy) at our Community Conversation in Port Angeles last Saturday.

Washington Coast Works Launches 2017 Sustainable Small Business Competition

March 14, 2017 (SEATTLE, Wash.) — The third year of the Washington Coast Works initiative kicks off March 21 with a round of Community Conversations led by past Coast Works winners and participants.

Community Conversations will be held in Aberdeen (March 21), Forks (March 23) and Port Angeles (March 25) to envision what sustainable wellbeing means in their communities and to identify projects or activities that could help bring it about. These conversations will continue throughout the year and participants will be invited to a year-end summit to share projects and ideas.

Last year’s Coast Works winner, Jessica Ellis, won $10,000 to expand Freedom Acres, a dog boarding business that uses salvaged materials, solar power, and all natural supplies for its K9 lodge and K9 kennels. In 2015 Emily Foster, a Quileute tribal member from Forks, won $10,000 for equipment and supplies to launch Lonzo’s Seafood Company, offering smoked Quileute-caught fresh salmon.

“Jessica is leading sustainability through her business, and Emily is building a business that will encourage responsible use of our natural resources”, says Eric Delvin, Emerald Edge Director for The Nature Conservancy, one of the organizations leading the Coast Works initiative.

The goal of the Coast Works initiative is to catalyze small and locally-owned triple bottom line businesses that generate profit by contributing to conservation of local natural resources and that will lead a network of community conversations focused on building sustainable community well-being in rural communities on the Washington coast.

“Local businesses promoting sustainability and making sustainable use of local natural resources are an essential part of the foundation for durable conservation and long-term well-being in our rural communities on the coast,” adds Delvin.

Folks interested in learning more about the Coast Works initiative are encouraged to participate in the upcoming Community Conversations. Further information is available at www.wacoastworks.org.

Story Contacts:

Eric Delvin, The Nature Conservancy’s Emerald Edge Director: P | 360-280-2460
E | edelvin@tnc.org.

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Washington Coast Works was established by The Nature Conservancy, in collaboration with the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship and the Taala Fund. The program is designed to diversify the economies in Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Counties through the development of new small businesses, build business leadership in local communities, grow a constituency that supports conservation and sustainable natural resource use, and ultimately contribute to a new vision of sustainable community and economic development on the Washington Coast.

Sustainable Small Businesses Get a Boost

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October 19, 2016 (OCEAN SHORES, Wash.) — A focus on sustainability paid off for the winners of the 2016 Coast Works Sustainable Small Business Competition honored at the Greater Grays Harbor 125th Annual Leaders Banquet on October 14, 2016 at the Quinault Beach Resort and Casino.

Jessica Ellis of Freedom Acres Dog Boarding in Montesano, Washington, won the top prize of $10,000 to build a second “K9 Cabin.” Freedom Acres places a premium on sustainability by using solar power, recycled building materials, non-toxic homemade cleaning materials, and native landscaping on their 53-acre site.

“Participating in the Coast Works initiative really helped us sharpen our sustainability vision and planning,” said Ellis. “Winning the award is such an honor, and the second K9 Cabin will allow us to double our revenue and support both me and my husband full-time.”

Two $5,000 runner-up prizes were awarded to Evan Mulvaney for Hidden River Farms in Montesano and Anna Sablan, a Quileute tribal member from La Push, Washington, for Twilight Tiny Homes. Mulvaney will use the award to drill an irrigation well to enable the restoration of Caldwell Creek which runs alongside the farm. Sablan will use her award for materials for the construction of her first tiny home prototype.

The top winners were part of a cohort of twelve emerging entrepreneurs who completed the multi-month business development program. Winners were selected based on the feasibility of the business goals and the potential for the business to have a positive social and environmental impact. Eight businesses received Momentum Awards of at least $500 to launch their small enterprises in the region.

Eric Delvin, Emerald Edge Director at The Nature Conservancy, understands the importance of vibrant local communities. “Businesses that are committed to sustainable use of our natural resources are fundamental to long term conservation, and we are pleased to continue our support of Washington Coast Works,” said Delvin.

The 2016 Coast Works sponsors included title sponsor Quinault Indian Nation, Washington State Department of Commerce, Bank of the Pacific, Enterprise for Equity, The Herbert Jones Foundation, and individuals participating in our crowd-funding campaign. Next year’s competition will get underway in spring 2017. Visit www.wacoastworks.org, for updates.

 

 

Coast Works to Announce 2016 Winners

DSCN7410_KaraCardinalThe final submissions have been evaluated by an independent panel
consisting of eight judges with deep local knowledge and expertise in entrepreneurship, business startups, business management, and sustainability. The scores have been compiled and analyzed. And the winners have been selected!

We are excited to bring the Coast Works finalists together at the 125th Annual Leaders Banquet this Friday, October 14, to celebrate the successful completion of the 2016 Coast Works competition and to announce the winners. The event will take place at the Quinault Beach Resort & Casino (78 State Route 115 – Ocean Shores, WA). Dinner and the Coast Works program starts at 7pm. To register for the event, contact Angela, Greater Grays Harbor Inc., at 360.532.1924 (angela@graysharbor.org).

See you there!