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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

 

Finalists Make Their Pitch in the Coast Works Business Plan Competition

14333108_532596346945510_3848258907573146929_nSeptember 26, 2016 (SEATTLE, Washington) — Twelve finalists completed the final step in the 2016 Coast Works Sustainable Small Business Competition by competing in the inaugural FastPitch event at Impact HUB Seattle on September 14, 2016.

First place winner will receive $10,000 in startup funding, with several runner-up awards. Winners will be announced at the 125th Annual Leaders Banquet on October 14, 2016 at the Quinault Beach Resort and Casino in Ocean Shores. To purchase banquet tickets, contact Greater Grays Harbor, Inc. at (360) 532-7888.

“It’s exciting to participate in this year’s contest with the goal of growing sustainable small ventures on our Pacific Northwest coast,” says Dick Binns, a retired Intel executive. Binns joined a distinguished group of volunteer mentors, an emerging network of coastal impact angel investors, and seven other judges in the daylong pitch event.

The panel of judges brings a wide diversity of relevant and local experience to the competition.

“There is a rich crop of new ventures this year,” says David Brentlinger, an impact investment consultant with a forestry background, who was also a judge last year. “The business development training by Enterprise for Equity combined with CIE’s Entrepreneurship Summit has elevated the preparedness of the entrepreneurs we are considering for funding. It will be tough to pick the best!”

FastPitch finalists completed a comprehensive eight-week business development program offered by Enterprise for Equity, participated in a two-day Entrepreneurship Summit offered by the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship, and prepared written business plans. Participating business plans included a cultural tourism business, a wood boat kit manufacturer, a beekeeper, a fair-trade chocolatier, a tiny homes builder, a dog boarding business, a permaculture farm, a stump grinder, a sustainable vegetable and hog producer, and a manufacturer of art equipment. All are “triple-bottom-line” businesses and designed to generate profits with significant social and environmental benefits.

The Quinault Indian Nation was the 2016 Title Sponsor of Washington Coast Works, which was established by The Nature Conservancy in collaboration with the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship, Enterprise for Equity and the Ta’ala Fund, and funded in part by the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Business Development Grant. Coast Works is designed to diversify the economies in Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Counties through the development of new small businesses, to build business leadership in local communities, to grow a constituency that supports conservation and sustainable natural resource use, and to ultimately contribute to a new vision of sustainable community and economic development on the Washington Coast. Visit www.wacoastworks.org for more information.

 

Coast Works 2016 Judges Selected

Photo by Bridget Besaw.
Photo by Bridget Besaw.

Coast Works 2016 Judges Selected

September 12, 2016 (Seattle, WA) – An independent panel consisting of 8 judges have been selected to evaluate the 2016 Washington Coast Works sustainable small business competition.

The distinguished panel of judges bring a wide diversity of relevant and local experience to the competition. For the names and bios of the judges, click here.

Winners will be announced at the 125th Annual Leaders Banquet to be held on October 14, 2016 at the Quinault Beach Resort and Casino in Ocean Shores. First place winner will receive $10,000 in startup funding, with several runner-up awards.

The 13 finalists have submitted their final written business plans and will be presenting to the judges and an emerging network of coastal impact angel investors at the inaugural Coast Works FASTPITCH event on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 hosted by the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship at Impact HUB Seattle.

The 2016 Washington Coast Works finalists are:

  • Jessica Ellis (Montesano)- Solar powered dog boarding.
  • Jesse Foss (Amanda Park) – Bio-diesel stump grinding and wood chip recycling.
  • Mike Maki (Hoquiam) – Bio-Char based organic fertilizer.
  • Jeff Meeks (Montesano) – Sustainable production of boat kits and woodworking.
  • Carrie & Jonas Merrill (Beever) – Beekeeping farm.
  • Evan Mulvaney (Montesano) – Pig farm using sustainable agriculture and pastured pork.
  • Earla Penn (La Push) – Cultural eco-tours of the Quileute reservation.
  • Ceantanni Polm (Ocean Shores) – Community supported permaculture farm operating with closed loop systems.
  • Alan Richrod (Aberdeen) – Small manufacturing of unique art project holding systems.
  • Anna Sablan (La Push) – Solar powered tiny houses.
  • Laurel Shearer (Aberdeen) – Homemade candies using fair trade chocolate.

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.

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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.

13 Budding Eco-Entrepreneurs to Compete for $20,000

Photo by National Park Service
Photo by National Park Service

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.

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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.

Sustainable Small Businesses Move Forward with Washington Coast Works

Eight intrepid entrepreneurs at Enterprise for Equity's Business Readiness Workshop in Forks, Washington last month
Eight intrepid entrepreneurs at Enterprise for Equity’s Business Readiness Workshop in Forks, Washington last month

MAY 31 (Seattle, Washington) — Fifteen emerging entrepreneurs from coastal communities in Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Counties are participating in an intensive 8-week business development training provided by Enterprise for Equity as part of the 2016 Washington Coast Works Sustainable Small Business Competition.

Participating businesses include a permaculture farm, a wood boat kit manufacturer, a construction business, a chocolatier, a bee keeper, a tiny homes builder, a dog boarding business, a cultural tourism business, a nature-inspired fitness company, a stump grinder, a sustainable vegetable and hog producer, a manufacturer of art equipment and a food truck — all “triple-bottom-line” businesses designed to generate profits with significant social and environmental benefits.

The training concludes in late July with an Entrepreneurship Summit to be held at the Olympic Natural Resource Center in Forks, Washington. At the Summit, participants will connect to a team of volunteer mentors and advisors who will help them develop their pitch and polish their business plans for presentation to a panel of judges in mid-September, and for a chance to win up to $20,000 in startup financing. Winners will be announced in October.

“It (the competition) gave me a new lease on life — something that I want to do for my community. I want to build our community”, said Jean Ramos, a winner from last year’s competition working to launch a sustainably foraged Labrador tea business.

Liz Ellis, another winner in last year’s competition, used her award to launch East Aberdeen Community Farm.

“I feel so fortunate to have been part of the three days of very intensive workshops,” Ellis said about last year’s Summit. “For me, the most valuable part of the competition was learning and being inspired by professionals and people in business, coaches and economists, and the fellow applicants from the north and the south.”

Washington Coast Works is an initiative of The Nature Conservancy in collaboration with Enterprise for Equity (with support from a USDA Rural Business Development Grant), the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship and the Ta’ala Fund. The program is designed to diversify the economies in Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Counties and contribute to a new vision of sustainable community and economic development on the Washington Coast.

The complete calendar of events leading up to the competition is available at www.wacoastworks.org. Contact Enterprise for Equity at (360) 704-3375 ext. 3 or Mike Skinner info@wacoastworks.org for more information about the competition.

Story Contacts: 

Robin Ohlgren, WA Coast Works Fundraiser: P | 208-301-1011  
E | robin@ohlgren.com

Liz Ellis, East Aberdeen Community Farm: P | 360-780-0349  E | harborsolar@yahoo.com

Jean Ramos, SovereigNDNTea: P | 360-780-0349   E|  jeanniebug.123@gmail.com

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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.

Last Chance to Enter WA Coast Works 2016 Sustainable Small Business Competition

The third and final opportunity to be considered for this year’s Washington Coast Works Sustainable Small Business Competition will take place at Enterprise for Equity’s (E4E) Business Readiness Workshop in Olympia on April 22 and 23. This workshop is free for entrepreneurs in Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Coastal Communities.

To participate in the business competition, graduates of the Business Readiness Workshop will be required to complete E4E’s Business Planning Program before the end of June.

IMG_0675
E4E Business Readiness Workshop in Forks Rainforest Arts Center

Last year, fifteen emerging entrepreneurs completed the Coast Works competition with a wide range of “triple bottom line” business ideas including paper-crete landscaping materials, community food waste digesters, off-grid ecological learning centers, local food cooperatives, and sustainably harvested forest products. First-place winner Emily Foster, a Quileute tribal member from Forks, won $10,000 for equipment and supplies to launch Lonzo’s Seafood Company. Jean Ramos, a Queets tribal elder, won $5,000 to develop a business selling foraged bog Labrador tea. And Liz Ellis won $5,000 to build a community farm in East Aberdeen.

The goal of the Coast Works initiative is to provide the opportunity to start or expand a business that makes money, builds community, and conserves the environment.

“Coast Works will help folks like Emily, Jean and Liz diversify the local economy through the development of new small businesses, and ultimately contribute to a new vision of sustainable community and economic development on the Washington Coast,” says Eric Delvin, Emerald Edge Project Manager for The Nature Conservancy, a partnering organization with Coast Works.

A calendar of events leading up to the competition is available on the Coast Works website at www.wacoastworks.org. Contact Enterprise for Equity at www.enterpriseforequity.org or email beth@enterpriseforequity.org, or call 360-704-3375 for more information.

East Aberdeen Community Farm Prepares for Launch

Congratulations to East Aberdeen Community Farm, a runner up winner in last year’s Coast Works sustainable small business competition, for fully deploying its $5,000 award. Award funding was used for fencing, drainage, raised beds and an irrigation system.

The neighborhood is buzzing with anticipation. Liz Ellis, one of the Farm’s founders, recounts recently meeting20160229_151622_resized_1a neighbor who lives a block or so from the Farm and walks the alley to get to the nearby bus stop – a high school senior in head start taking classes at the college who said that she and her mom would love to have a garden spot. “I think word of mouth will work just fine to generate enough gardeners to start with this Spring,” says Ellis.

“The impact of East Aberdeen Community Farm will go far beyond revenue and jobs,” says Mike Skinner, who helps administer the Coast Works competition. “It will demonstrate how entrepreneurship and small business can inspire and lead sustainable community wealth-building in our coastal communities.”

Coast Works 2016 launched last January and registration is currently open. To register, complete Enterprise for Equity’s Business Plan Training registration form at www.enterpriseforequity.org/intake/. Once you submit your registration form, a member of the Coast Works team will call you to discuss next steps. If you have any questions regarding the registration process, contact Enterprise for Equity by email at office@enterpriseforequity.org or by phone at (360) 704-3375. Contact the Coast Works team at info@wacoastworks.org if you have any questions or for more information about the competition.

Washington Coast Works Launches Sponsorship Drive

FEBRUARY 19 (Seattle, Washington) — Over 40 aspiring entrepreneurs, community leaders, business professionals and economic developers participated in one of six ideation events during early February in Aberdeen, Taholah, Amanda Park, Forks, La Push, and Neah Bay. Participants shared their business ideas and learned about the opportunity to vie for startup funding to move their business ideas forward.

It’s not too late to jump on board. Folks looking to start or develop businesses on the Washington coast are eligible to participate in the competition. To learn more about the competition and on-going business readiness and business planning workshops, two free information sessions are offered at the Timberland Library in Hoquiam on Thursday, March 1, 2016 from 5:30-7:00pm and at Peninsula College in Forks on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 from 5:30-7:00pm.

The goal of the Coast Works initiative is to provide the opportunity to develop triple bottom line businesses that generate profit by contributing to conservation of local natural resources, local leadership, and the local economy. Last year’s first-place competition winner, 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.

“Emily’s business idea is a great example of a business that encourages responsible use of our natural resources”, says Mike Skinner, the Coast Works Administrator. “Businesses making sustainable use of local natural resources are the ones that will form the sustainable economies and vibrant rural communities for the future.”

We are excited to announce that Robin Fahle Ohlgren has joined the Coast Works team to lead the sponsorship drive. Ohlgren is an organizational strategist and entrepreneur with a strong background in community-based economic development. She will be reaching out to businesses and organizations on the Olympic Peninsula to present opportunities to support and sponsor the initiative. You can contact Ohlgren at robin@ohlgren.com to learn more about sponsorship, or if there are occasions to meet with key business leaders who would like to hear about opportunities to get involved.

 

“Our communities are attractive to newcomers when there is an engaged entrepreneurial culture,” Ohlgren said. “I get a great deal of satisfaction helping folks grow their business and especially enjoy creating connections between established business leaders and newly-minted entrepreneurs.”

The complete calendar of events leading up to the competition is available on the Coast Works website at www.wacoastworks.org. Contact Enterprise for Equity at (360) 704-3375 ext. 3 or Mike Skinner info@wacoastworks.org for more information about the competition.

COAST WORKS WRAPS UP A WEEK OF IDEATION EVENTS

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Over 40 aspiring entrepreneurs, community leaders, business professionals and economic developers participated in one of six Ideation Events last week in Aberdeen, Taholah, Amanda Park, Forks, La Push, and Neah Bay.  Participants learned about the opportunity discovery process and how triple bottom line businesses can generate profit by contributing to conservation of local natural resources, local leadership, and the local economy.  Most of the participants plan to complete the trainings offered by Enterprise for Equity for the opportunity to vie for up to $20,000 in startup funding to move their business ideas forward.

If you missed the Ideation Events and are interested in participating in the training or the competition, it’s not too late to jump on board. Enterprise for Equity will be offering Information Sessions at the Timberland Library in Hoquiam on Thursday, March 1, 2016 from 5:30-7:00pm and at Peninsula College in Forks on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 from 5:30-7:00pm. Register today at http://www.enterpriseforequity.org/intake/.