Tag Archives: olympic peninsula

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.

 

Now Accepting Applications

Got an idea for a small business that builds leadership, keeps money local, and contributes to the conservation of local natural resources?

Coast Works is now accepting applications. Download an application form at www.wacoastworks.org/apply  today! The deadline for applications is May 22, 2017.

Up to 15 finalists will be selected for intensive training, mentorship, network building and a chance to win up to $10,000 to move their business idea forward.

To learn more, and help build the network, attend our free Community Conversation in Port Angeles on April 25th. The event is free. You do not need to register. You bring the good ideas. We’ll provide the pizza. See details at www.wacoastworks.org/calendar.

Washington Coast Works Launches 2017 Sustainable Small Business Competition

March 14, 2017 (SEATTLE, Wash.) — The third year of the Washington Coast Works initiative kicks off March 21 with a round of Community Conversations led by past Coast Works winners and participants.

Community Conversations will be held in Aberdeen (March 21), Forks (March 23) and Port Angeles (March 25) to envision what sustainable wellbeing means in their communities and to identify projects or activities that could help bring it about. These conversations will continue throughout the year and participants will be invited to a year-end summit to share projects and ideas.

Last year’s Coast Works winner, Jessica Ellis, won $10,000 to expand Freedom Acres, a dog boarding business that uses salvaged materials, solar power, and all natural supplies for its K9 lodge and K9 kennels. In 2015 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.

“Jessica is leading sustainability through her business, and Emily is building a business that will encourage responsible use of our natural resources”, says Eric Delvin, Emerald Edge Director for The Nature Conservancy, one of the organizations leading the Coast Works initiative.

The goal of the Coast Works initiative is to catalyze small and locally-owned triple bottom line businesses that generate profit by contributing to conservation of local natural resources and that will lead a network of community conversations focused on building sustainable community well-being in rural communities on the Washington coast.

“Local businesses promoting sustainability and making sustainable use of local natural resources are an essential part of the foundation for durable conservation and long-term well-being in our rural communities on the coast,” adds Delvin.

Folks interested in learning more about the Coast Works initiative are encouraged to participate in the upcoming Community Conversations. Further information is available at www.wacoastworks.org.

Story Contacts:

Eric Delvin, The Nature Conservancy’s Emerald Edge Director: P | 360-280-2460
E | edelvin@tnc.org.

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Washington Coast Works was established by The Nature Conservancy, in collaboration with the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship and the Taala Fund. 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 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.

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.

Robin Fahle Ohlgren Joins the Coast Work Team to Lead Sponsorship Drive

Robin Ohlgren Head Shot

We are excited to announce that Robin Fahle Ohlgren has joined the Coast Works team to lead the sponsorship drive. Robin will be reaching out to businesses and organizations on the Olympic Peninsula to present opportunities to support and sponsor the initiative.

Robin Ohlgren is an organizational strategist and entrepreneur with a background in community-based economic development. She is the owner of Robin Ohlgren Consulting LLC and and COO of KeyLock Solutions, a dot.com data management system for land-use professionals. Robin currently serves on the board of Backyard Harvest, is a founding member of the Palouse-Clearwater Food Coalition and serves on the Inland Northwest Community Foundation’s Palouse Region/Pullman Community Advisory Committee. Robin has travelled extensively, having served in the Peace Corps (Paraguay); and lived abroad with her two children in Tonga, Nepal, Jamaica and Cambodia. She has been a resident of the Palouse since 1978.

“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.“

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.

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/. 

FREE COAST WORKS IDEATION EVENTS COMING SOON TO YOUR COMMUNITY

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) offers budding entrepreneurs an opportunity to develop skills, get support and win cash to launch sustainable small businesses. The winner will receive $10,000 in startup funding, and two semifinalists will receive $5,000 each.

Last year, twelve contestants participated in the Coast Works Boot Camp and Pitch Clinic and three winners are now working to launch their new businesses.

This year, thanks to funding from USDA Rural Development, Coast Works is joined by Enterprise for Equity, a business development program with a 15-year track record of success in helping people start and grow small businesses in the region.

Enterprise for Equity will be providing a variety of ongoing business training programs and support services. Coast Works contestants will be selected from graduates of Enterprise for Equity’s Business Readiness Workshop and will participate in its Business Planning Program.

Coast Works kicks off with six community “ideation” events, to be held February 1-4 in Taholah, Aberdeen, Amanda Park, La Push, Forks and Neah Bay (click here for details on locations and dates). These three-hour workshops will:

• Answer all your questions about the competition and Enterprise for Equity, 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.

Ideation Events are free and open to the general public. 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!

Coast Works contestants must attend an Ideation Event or make separate arrangements to complete an Enterprise for Equity Information Session. Non-contestants are encouraged to participate, too. 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.

The competition is being presented by The Nature Conservancy in partnership with Enterprise for Equity (with support from a USDA Rural Business Development Grant), Pinchot University’s Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship and the Taala Fund.  Click here for more information about the Coast Works partners.