Tag Archives: entrepreneurial eco-system

2017 Coast Works Winners Announced

November 15, 2017 (SEQUIM, Wash.) — The third annual Washington Coast Works Sustainable Small Business Competition rewarded entrepreneurs who focus on sustainability and community at the 2017 Coast Works Awards Ceremony, November 9 at Olympic Theatre Arts.

The winners were part of a cohort of twelve entrepreneurs who participated in an intensive training at Olympic Natural Resources Center in June, then received four months of business training and support from the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship and Enterprise for Equity.

Three winners received cash awards, but the collective impact of the three successive Coast Works competitions has yielded the formation of the Coast Works Alliance, which was launched at the 2017 Awards Ceremony and will create a mechanism for ongoing entrepreneurial support in the Olympic Peninsula.

Ann Rosecrants received this year’s Community Award of $10,000 to build an online market for Twisted Strait Fibers, a Port Angeles cooperative for natural fiber producers and artisans. Rosecrants noted that during the ONRC Intensive, one of the participants coined the term ‘Dream Warriors’ during a discussion about the concept of fighting for something worthy and believing in each vision as a useful and beneficial project.

“From an idea to a community, Coast Works armed me with the tools for success,” reflects Rosecrants. “We are the Dream Warriors.”

Lauren Kerr received the Leadership Award of $5,000 to launch Sol Duc Farms, a u-pick blueberry and flower farm near Forks. A former wildlife biologist, Lauren will provide apprenticeship and job opportunities for young women aimed at fostering knowledge about
sustainable farming, entrepreneurship, and leadership.

“This award will go a long way towards helping us launch our farm,” says Kerr, “but the most valuable part of this process has been the community and mentorship that comes with Coast Works.”

Jim Stanley received the Change Award of $5,000 to expand Wild Salish Seafood. Jim, a member of the Quinault Indian Nation, operates S/V Josie out of Westport. He plans to use the award to buy a refrigerated trailer and hire Quinault tribal members to increase distribution of Quinault-harvested seafood to his customers in Seattle and Portland.

Stanley echoes the sentiments from his co-winners about the significance of relationships. “The best part of the process has been meeting others who work to make their community better by combining passion with a business-based value proposition.” He doesn’t downplay the role of money. “I appreciate how the award helps me acquire the asset I need to make money. The equity injection means I can expand my business sooner by adding employees.”

The 2017 Coast Works sponsors included title sponsor Key Bank Foundation, the Jamestown-S’Klallam Tribe, the Washington State Department of Commerce, Bank of the Pacific, and a growing community of individuals participating in our crowd-funding campaign.

Next year’s competition will get underway in late spring 2018. Visit www.wacoastworks.org, for updates.

Story Contacts:

Mike Skinner, Coast Works Administrator P| 206.235.6029   E|mike.skinner@cie-nw.org

Robin Stanton, The Nature Conservancy  P|  206.436.6274                   E|rstanton@tnc.org

 

 

 

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

 

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.

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.

 

 

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.

Crowd-funding Raises Prize Money for Coast Works Business Plan Competition

newcausevoxlogoJuly 18, 2016 (Seattle, Washington) — It’s easy to invest in big Wall Street backed businesses, but next to impossible to invest in a local Main Street business in your community – especially if that business is a startup. The Washington Coast Works Sustainable Small Business Competition is changing that with a crowd funding campaign that lets ordinary folks contribute what they can afford to help emerging entrepreneurs launch new businesses in rural and tribal communities on the Washington Coast. First prize is $10,000 in startup funding, with multiple runner up prizes. See www.coastworks.causevox.com.

This year’s Coast Works entrepreneurs include a cultural tourism business, a wood boat kit manufacturer, a beekeeper, a construction business, a chocolatier, a tiny homes builder, a food truck, a dog boarding business, a permaculture farm, a stump grinder, a nature-inspired fitness company, a sustainable vegetable and hog producer, and a manufacturer of art equipment. All are “triple-bottom-line” businesses designed to generate profits with significant social and environmental benefits.

“How awesome that all of us can contribute to the Coast Works prize money this year,” says Coast Works intern Sarah Haensly who designed the campaign. “Web-based crowd funding now makes it possible for anyone to contribute what they can afford – without calling up your local stock broker.”

Tanikka Watford knows how hard it is to raise startup funding for a small business. She needed significant capital to launch Deep Roots Foods, a Tumwater-based small-scale food co-pack food processing business.

“I was fortunate to find local investors through Social Venture Partners’ FastPitch competition last year, but those opportunities are rare,” says Watford. “I think it is amazing that you all are making it possible for people in Coast Works communities to participate directly in their local economic development!”

Visit www.wacoastworks.org for more information.

Story Contacts:

Robin Ohlgren, Coast Works Director of Sponsorship: P| 208-301-1011 E|robin@ohlgren.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.

 

Announcing the Coast Works Angel Network

Coast Works at Work

Learn about local investing and support emerging entrepreneurs participating in the Washington Coast Works: Sustainable Small Business Initiative. Become a founding member of the Coast Works Angel Network!

 Coast Works entrepreneurs are diversifying the economy through the development of new small businesses, growing a constituency of business leaders supporting conservation and sustainable natural resource use, and contributing to a new vision of sustainable community and economic development on the Washington Coast.  Now in its second year, Coast Works has been established by The Nature Conservancy, in collaboration with the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship, Enterprise for Equity and the Taala Fund, and is funded in part by the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Business Development Grant. For more information, visit our website at www.wacoastworks.org.

Central to the initiative is a sustainable small business competition for $10,000 in startup funding. This year’s participating entrepreneurs include a cultural tourism business, a wood boat kit manufacturer, a bee keeper, a construction business, a chocolatier, a tiny homes builder, a food truck, a dog boarding business, a permaculture farm, a stump grinder, a nature-inspired fitness company, a sustainable vegetable and hog producer, and a manufacturer of art equipment. All are “triple-bottom-line” businesses from coastal communities in Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Counties designed to generate profits with significant social and environmental benefits.

Coast Works Angels will:

  • Reside in or have strong connections to the Coast Works communities
  • Commit to investing $1,000 in one or more of the Coast Works contestants
  • Read “Angel Investing” by David Rose and attend the upcoming Coast Works Entrepreneur Summit on July 24th to meet this year’s contestants and learn about startup seed investing
  • Attend the Coast Works FastPitch event in mid-September (date and venue TBD), where the Coast Works contestants will present their pitches
  • Make your investment decision at a final pitch event in late October (date and venue TBD)

John Sechrest will lead the July 24th angel investing workshops at the Summit. John is the founder of Seattle Angel Conference and the Willamette Angel Conference. A strong supporter of the Northwest’s startup ecosystem, John runs Lean Startup Seattle, supports Open Coffee and runs workshops on stronger startup investors and startup ecosystems. Follow him on Twitter at @sechrest.

If you are interested in joining the network, contact Mike Skinner at mike.skinner@cie-nw.org.

We look forward to this opportunity to work with you to empower tomorrow’s leaders in sustainable economic development!

 

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/.