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.