The Washington Coast Works: Sustainable Small Business Competition has been established by The Nature Conservancy, in collaboration with the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship and the Taala Fund, and is funded in part by the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Business Development Grant.

The competition will be open to applicants starting or expanding small 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.

The Entrepreneurship Boot Camp

In late June 2015, 10 applicants and 2 alternate applicants will be selected to advance to the final round of the competition. These finalists will participate in an intensive three-day Entrepreneurship Boot Camp. The Boot Camp will be held at the Olympic Natural Resource Center in Forks, WA on July 30- August 2. Workshops subject to this Call for Proposals will take place on the second day of the Boot Camp (Saturday, August 1) starting at 9am and ending at 4pm.


Most entrepreneurship training programs focus on how to launch and manage a business. The Boot Camp is a departure from this convention. The focus of the competition and the training will be to help participants identify and validate the key assumptions underlying (1) how the business will generate revenue, (2) why the financial projections make sense, and (3) the way in which the business will further the competition’s social and environmental objectives. Using a Business Model Canvas, Financial Projection Worksheets, and a Sustainability Matrix, participants will develop a written narrative that identifies and explains the assumptions underlying the business concept and how the assumptions have been or will be validated.

The first day of the Boot Camp will consist of three workshops that provide the foundation for developing the written narrative:

  1.  The Business Model Canvas and Lean Startup Concepts
  2. Preparing Preliminary Financial Projections
  3. Assessing Sustainability Across the Business

We are seeking proposals for at least 6 one-hour highly focused and practical “Drill Down” workshops that complement the foundational workshops. Suggested topics include (by way of example, with reference to the applicable judging criteria):

  1. Market Research (1:1, 1:2)
  2. Marketing Strategies (1:3)
  3. Revenue Models (1:4)
  4. Pricing Strategies and Sales Forecasting (1:4, 2:3)
  5. Cash Flow Requirements (2:4)
  6. Measuring Conservation Impact (carrying capacity and other metrics) (3:1, 3:2, 3:3)
  7. Measuring Local Economy Impact (the multiplier and direct, indirect, induced impacts (3:4, 3:5, 3:6)
  8. Measuring Leadership Development and Self-Determination (3:7, 3:8, 3:9)
  9. Understanding Scale (3:10)

Priority will be given to workshops designed to help participants develop ideas, strategies and tools that ensure that each participant understands and has a strategy for responding to each specific judging criterion in a way that produces the highest possible score. The judging criteria is available on the Coast Works website at

Proposal Requirements

Proposals must be received by Friday, July 17, 2015. Proposals must be in writing, no more than three pages, and include the following information:

  1. Workshop Title
  2. Workshop Abstract (no more than 200 words)
  3. Workshop Outline
  4. Workshop Objectives (including the applicable judging criteria)
  5. Statement of Presenter Qualifications

Please email your proposal as a PDF file to the Coast Works Competition Administrator at on or before the deadline. If you have any questions or require further information, please contact Mike Skinner at (206) 235-6029.

By submitting a workshop proposal, you acknowledge that there is no compensation for workshop presenters, and you agree (a) to participate in a teleconference presenter orientation (tentatively to be held on Monday, July 22, 2015), (b) to provide final workshop materials to the Boot Camp coordinators by no later than Friday, July 24, 2015, and (c) to be on location and ready to present at least one hour prior to the scheduled time for your workshop. Presenters are encouraged to come to the kick off breakfast and stay through the dinner session to network with the finalists. Overnight arrangements will be considered upon request.

Thank you for supporting Coast Works!