“Through our Startup Washington strategy, we recognize the vital role of entrepreneurship and home-grown economic development in long-term prosperity for rural communities and the state as a whole. Supporting expansion of business opportunities in tribal lands is a key priority which emerged from our Tribal-State Economic Development Summit last year, and the Washington Coast Works sustainable small business competition is a great step forward in that action plan.” – Gov. Jay Inslee

“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. 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.” – Senator Maria Cantwell

“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,” – Senator Patty Murray

“The Olympic Peninsula is chock-full of budding entrepreneurs looking to improve their communities – the Sustainable Small Enterprise Competition can help provide that extra nudge needed to help them take off. 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.” – Rep. Derek Kilmer

  • Washington Coast Works on Facebook


Do you have an idea for a small business that makes money, builds community, and protects the environment? Take a step today to move your idea forward. Enter the Washington Coast Works: Sustainable Small Business Competition.

The competition has been established by The Nature Conservancy, in collaboration with Enterprise for Equity, Pinchot University’s Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship and the Taala Fund, and funded in part by the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Business Development Grant.

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 Taholah, as well as other rural communities, and the cities of Forks, Ocean Shores, Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Montesano, Cosmopolis and Westport.

The competition is designed to diversify the local economy 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.

Here’s How it Works

Enterprise for Equity will be your pathway to the competition. Contestants will be selected from graduates of Enterprise for Equity’s Business Readiness Workshop and will be required to complete Enterprise for Equity’s Business Planning Program.

  • February: Attend an Ideation Event or an Information Session to learn about Enterprise for Equity, the Coast Works competition, and how to get the most out of your training experience.
  • March/April: Complete Enterprise for Equity’s Business Readiness Workshop. This two-day workshop will help you determine if your business idea is feasible and get you ready to move forward with success.
  • May/June: Participate in Enterprise for Equity’s Business Planning Program. This eight-week course will help you develop a strong plan for a successful business. The program culminates in a three-day Entrepreneur Summit and Pitch Clinic where you will connect to a team of advisers, mentors and coaches who will work with you to polish your plan and your pitch.
  • September: Submit your final written business plan and present your pitch to a panel of independent judges and impact investors at Coast Works FastPitch.
  • October: Winners are announced at the annual Business Leaders Banquet.

Check the Calendar page on this site for dates and locations. To apply, 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 [email protected] or by phone at (360) 704-3375.

Triple Win: Economic, Social and Environmental

Your business concept will be evaluated not only on whether it will be profitable, but also on how it will contribute to conservation and sustainable use of local natural resources, whether its revenue will stay within the local economy, and how it will contribute to the development of local business leadership and community self-determination.

The competition will build entrepreneurial and enterprise development capacity. More people will have an opportunity to start enterprises that survive and grow and contribute to their financial self- sufficiency, the local economy, the tax base, and the community.