Have An Idea for a Small Business? Enter Now

June 8, 2015 Contact

For Immediate Release

The Nature Conservancy
Robin Stanton, (206) 436-6274
rstanton@tnc.org

Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship
Mike Skinner, (206) 780-6228
mike.skinner@pinchot.edu

Have An Idea for a Small Business? Enter Now

$20,000 in prize money for Washington Coast Works Business Competition

WASHINGTON COAST–Do you have an idea for a small business that makes money, builds community, and protects the environment? Enter the Washington Coast Works competition to develop the idea and win startup funding.

Deadline to enter the Washington Coast Works: Sustainable Small Business Competition (wacoastworks.org) is June 19.

The Washington Coast Works competition offers budding entrepreneurs an opportunity to develop skills, get support and win cash to launch their businesses. The winner will receive $10,000 in startup funding, and two semifinalists will receive $5,000 each. Prize funding is provided by the Quinault Indian Nation and First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Port Angeles.

The competition is open to applicants starting new businesses in Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Counties, including the tribal communities of Neah Bay, La Push, Hoh, Queets and Taholah, as well as other rural communities, and the cities of Forks, Ocean Shores, Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Montesano, Cosmopolis and Westport.

The competition is being presented by The Nature Conservancy in partnership with the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship at Pinchot University (formerly Bainbridge Graduate Institute) and the Taala Fund. USDA provided funding through its Rural Business Opportunity Grants to help launch the competition.

Details are at wacoastworks.org.

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Learn How to be a Small Business StartUp

Events kick off Washington Coast Works Sustainable Small Business Competition

WASHINGTON COAST–Do you have an idea for a small business that makes money, builds community, and protects the environment? Take a step to move your idea forward!

Washington Coast Works: Sustainable Small Business Competition (wacoastworks.org) kicks off with five community “ideation” events, to be held April 21-23 in Taholah, Aberdeen, La Push, Forks and Neah Bay. (Full schedule below.)

The Washington Coast Works competition offers budding entrepreneurs an opportunity to develop skills, get support and win cash to launch their businesses. The winner will receive $10,000 in startup funding, and two semifinalists will receive $5,000 each. Prize funding is provided by First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Port Angeles and the Quinault Indian Nation.

These three-hour workshops will:

• Answer all your questions about the competition, including how to apply, how the finalists and winners will be selected, what training and support will be provided, and more.

• Introduce you to the entrepreneur’s mindset, the opportunity discovery process, and sustainable “triple bottom line” businesses.

• Engage you in brainstorming activities designed to help generate ideas for new sustainable businesses that build leadership, contribute to conservation and keep money in the local economy.

All events are free and open to the public. No need to register in advance.

“This competition is a fantastic opportunity to develop some creative and unique sustainable businesses here in Grays Harbor. I would encourage anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit and a great business idea to attend the Ideation workshop to learn more about this opportunity” said Dru Garson, CEO of Greater Grays Harbor.

Entrants to the Washington Coast Works: Sustainable Small Business Competition, are encouraged but not required to attend one of these ideation events. Enter starting April 20 at wacoastworks.org. Entries close June 19.

The competition is being presented by The Nature Conservancy in partnership with the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship at Pinchot University (formerly Bainbridge Graduate Institute) and the Taala Fund. USDA provided funding through its Rural Business Opportunity Grants to help launch the competition.

Ideation Events:

• Taholah – Tuesday, April 21, 10 a.m- 1 p.m.. Taholah Community Center,

• Aberdeen- Tuesday, April 21, 4 p.m.-7 p.m., GHC Whiteside Continuing Education Center

• La Push – Wednesday, April 22, 10 a.m.-1p.m., Tribal Office West Wing

• Forks- Wednesday, April 22, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Peninsula College

• Neah Bay – Thursday, April 23, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Marina building

See www.wacoastworks.org/calendar/ and click on a venue for location details.

Free Coast Works Ideation Events Coming Soon To Your Community

In April, Coast Works will offer five “ideation events” throughout the region (click here for details on locations and dates). These three-hour workshops will:

  • Answer all your questions about the competition, including how to apply, how the finalists and winners will be selected, what training and support will be provided, and more.
  • Introduce you to the entrepreneur’s mindset, the opportunity discovery process, and sustainable “triple bottom line” businesses.
  • Engage you in brainstorming activities designed to help generate ideas for new sustainable businesses that build leadership, contribute to conservation and keep money in the local economy.

Not everyone wants to start and run a business. But we all have the potential to be entrepreneurial. Through chalk talks and group activities, we’ll help each other awaken our “inner entrepreneur” to brainstorm business ideas that transform problems and needs in our communities into profitable businesses that produce social and environmental benefits – and meet the criteria for the competition!

Ideation events are free and open to the general public. There is no need to register or RSVP. Everyone will learn something, and everyone’s voice will contribute to the process.  Applicants are encouraged – but not required – to participate.

Contact us at info@wacoastworks.org if you have any questions or for more information.

Small Business Gets a Boost

Washington Coast Works Sustainable Small Business Competition Launches

WASHINGTON COAST–Budding tribal and rural entrepreneurs on the Washington Coast will get a boost in developing small-scale sustainable businesses through a new competition funded in part by the US Department of Agriculture.

The competition, Washington Coast Works, is being sponsored by The Nature Conservancy in partnership with the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship at Pinchot University (formerly Bainbridge Graduate Institute) and the Taala Fund. USDA has granted $74,600 through its Rural Business Opportunity Grants to help launch the competition.

The goal is to launch sustainable local businesses that will increase local employment and have positive social, ecological, and economic impacts on their rural communities.

“We have a wealth of natural resources, and the talent to develop new, sustainable ways to use them,” said Rod Fleck, Forks city attorney/planner.  “This is a great opportunity for our community’s entrepreneurs to develop new businesses or improve existing ones.”

“I applaud the Nature Conservancy and its partners for establishing the Washington Coast Works Sustainable Small Business competition, and am proud to support this initiative to launch innovative entrepreneurial opportunities in our state’s rural and tribal communities,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-WA.

“This competition provides entrepreneurs in tribal and rural areas with the chance to turn an idea into a business that will create jobs and economic opportunity,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-WA. “This is an investment in often under-served communities that will pay dividends for years to come on the Olympic Peninsula. I extend my thanks to the Nature Conservancy and its partners for developing the Sustainable Small Business Competition.”

“The Olympic Peninsula is chock-full of budding entrepreneurs looking to improve their communities – the Sustainable Small Business Competition can help provide that extra nudge needed to help them take off,” said Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-6th District. “Tribal and rural communities alike will benefit from this terrific opportunity to jump start local employment and catalyze private business innovation in sustainability and conservation. I applaud the Nature Conservancy and the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship for taking the lead on bringing this great support system to folks in our area.”

After an open application period, 10 semifinalists will be chosen to participate in an intensive business development training with the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship (CIE). From the 10 semi-finalists, winners will receive $10,000 in seed funding.

CIE will continue to work one-on-one with all 10 semi-finalists who complete the training, to help successfully launch their businesses, including assistance with business model development, accessing capital, developing business skills, and connecting to networks of support.

The competition will be open to applicants starting new businesses in Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Counties, including the tribal communities of Neah Bay, La Push, Hoh, Queets and Tahola, as well as other rural communities, and the cities of Forks, Ocean Shores, Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Montesano, Cosmopolis and Westport.

Visit Washington Coast Works on the web at wacoastworks.org or contact Mike Skinner with CIE, (206) 780-6228, for more information.

Pinchot University is a pioneer in sustainable business and transformational leadership. Housed under Pinchot are the Bainbridge Graduate Institute, the Professional Development program of continuing education and the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship. Visit Pinchot on the Web at Pinchot.edu.

Taala Fund is a certified Native Community Development Financial Institution (Native CDFI) that has a mission to promote private business development and build assets on the Quinault Indian Reservation and among Quinault Tribal members, improving the quality of life for its people and communities. Visit the Taala Fund on the Web at taalafund.org

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working in Washington and around the world to protect the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit The Nature Conservancy in Washington on the Web at WashingtonNature.org.