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Sustainable Small Business Entrepreneurs Move Forward with Washington Coast Works

November 6, 2018 (Seattle, Washington)  Sixteen finalists, all emerging entrepreneurs from coastal communities in Pacific, Wahkiakum, Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam Counties, have qualified to participate in an intensive triple bottom line small business training as part of the 2018 Washington Coast Works Sustainable Small Business Competition.

The Coast Works Entrepreneurship Intensive, to be held at the Olympic Natural Resource Center in Forks, Washington on November 15-18, will include workshops on entrepreneurship, business development, and sustainability. Key Bank is sponsoring the Intensive.

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 an outdoor event producer, a gleaned apple cider business, a CSA farm, several foraged food and non-tree forest product businesses, a gleaned food and tea business, a farmer’s garden market, a natural burial business, sustainable Native caught smoked salmon business, a native eco-guide service, and a sustainable forest management consulting business — all “triple-bottom-line” businesses designed to profitably generate significant social and environmental benefits.

“The Intensive is a full-immersion learning experience introducing participants to the fundamentals of sustainable business,” said Mike Skinner, the Coast Works Administrator. “The real work begins after the Intensive as participants work with our team of business advisors to make the case for their business ideas.” Participants will present their business case to a panel of independent judges at the Coast Works Fast Pitch and Award Ceremony to be held at the Olympic Theatre Arts Center in Sequim, WA on March 28, 2019.

“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.

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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.

Sustainable Small Business Competition Open to Applicants

SEPTEMBER 18, 2018 (Montesano, Washington) — The Washington Coast Works Business Competition is seeking applications from those with ideas and energy to create or expand a small business that strives towards a triple bottom line: profit, people and place.

Applications for this year’s competition will be due by Oct. 15. Applications and instructions can be downloaded at wacoastworks.org/apply.

Up to 15 finalists will be selected to join the growing Coast Works Alliance, participate in intensive training on sustainable entrepreneurship, receive ongoing one-on-one technical assistance, connect to mentors and present their business case statement at a fast-pitch event for a chance to win up to $10,000.

“Coast Works is designed to diversify the local economy through the development of new small businesses and build business leadership in local communities,” says Mike Skinner, Washington Coast Works administrator. “It aims to 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, 45 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, wool-fiber cooperative, sustainably foraged bog Labrador tea, u-pick blueberry farm, paper-crete landscaping materials, smoked salmon, off-grid ecological learning centers, local food cooperatives, sustainable farming, bio-diesel powered stump grinding, sustainable tiny homes, and many more.

The competition shows that businesses can be profitable while caring for the places where they are based and supporting the people who work for them and their communities.

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.

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.

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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.

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/.