Washington Coast Works Sustainable Small Business Competition Enters New Phase
August 3, 2016 (Washington Coast) —Thirteen finalists from coastal communities are advancing in the Washington Coast Works Sustainable Small Business Competition (wacoastworks.org). First place winner will receive $10,000 in startup funding, with several runner-up awards. The Quinault Indian Nation is this year’s competition title sponsor. Other sponsors include the Washington State Department of Commerce and Bank of the Pacific.
The 2016 Washington Coast Works finalists are:
- Alan Richrod (Aberdeen) – Small manufacturing of unique art project holding systems.
- Anna Sablan (La Push) – Solar powered tiny houses.
- Carrie & Jonas Merrill (Beever) – Beekeeping farm.
- Ceantanni Polm (Ocean Shores) – Community supported permaculture farm operating with closed loop systems.
- Earla Penn (La Push) – Cultural eco-tours of the Quileute reservation.
- Evan Mulvaney (Montesano) – Pig farm using sustainable agriculture and pastured pork.
- Jeff Meeks (Montesano) – Sustainable production of boat kits and woodworking.
- Jesse Foss (Amanda Park) – Bio-diesel stump grinding and wood chip recycling.
- Jessica Ellis (Montesano)- Solar powered dog boarding.
- Laurel Shearer (Aberdeen) – Homemade candies using fair trade chocolate.
- Mike Maki (Hoquiam) – Bio-Char based organic fertilizer.
All are “triple-bottom-line” businesses from coastal communities in Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Counties and designed to generate profits with significant social and environmental benefits.
The finalists have completed a comprehensive eight-week comprehensive business plan development program, provided by Enterprise for Equity and a two-day Entrepreneurship Summit in Forks facilitated by the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship. At the Summit, finalists participated in workshops and activities focused on the entrepreneur’s mindset, lean startup techniques, sustainability, business finance and pitch presentations and connected to experienced business professionals who will help them refine their plans and pitches to be presented to the judging panel in mid-September.
Washington Coast Works was established by The Nature Conservancy, in collaboration with Enterprise for Equity, the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship and the Ta’ala Fund, and funded in part by the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Business Development Grant. 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.