Yakima County Development Association - Enterprise Challenge

Enterprise Challenge

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What is it?!

The Enterprise Challenge is an annual business plan contest for new and emerging companies in Yakima and Kittitas Counties.  This is the fifth year we are organizing the contest - it is a great way for our organization and the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce to celebrate small business and support promising ventures in Central Washington.  Over 80 entrepreneurs have competed in the contest since its inception and many of them have gone on to start businesses in our communities. 

Over $17,500 in cash prizes will be awarded to contest winners this year (1st place wins $10,000! 2nd Place gets $5,000 and 3rd Place gets $2,500).  The bigger goal though is to help every entrepreneur involved in the contest advance or improve their business.

In The News: Contestants get media attention 

Contestant Benefits:

  • Six hours of hands on instruction in business planning, marketing, financing, and related topics. 
  • Follow-up help sessions with experts in finance, marketing, and other business topics
  • Feedback on plans submitted by at least seven judges who have practical business experience
  • Opportunities to network and collaborate with other great entrepreneurs
  • Significant publicity for your business through local media and other channels

How it Works:

  1. Contestants attend classes and tutoring sessions that help them develop their business plans. 
  2. Plans are submitted to judges who evaluate each enterprise*
  3. Contestants with the highest scores move on through two more stages of the contest over the following two months.  The contest features a pitch your business trade show in December and a final presentation round in January.
  4. Winners are announced a gala awards banquet each January.

Click here for detailed contest calendar

*Judges use a 100-point scale to score contestants on how well they have thought through and developed their enterprise's marketing, financing, management, and operations plans.  These judges provide ALL contestants feedback on their ventures and business plans which is invaluable feedback for anyone launching a new business.  (Click here for contest rules and scoring details)

The biggest benefit is that participants get the counsel and support they need to get their businesses off to a strong start.  We designed the contest so that it helps all participants even if they don’t advance to the winner's circle.  By offering in-depth business seminars and offering hands on counseling to everyone in the contest, we are confident that our participants gain traction with their enterprise and learn what it takes to launch a successful business.

Entrepreneurs from all parts of Yakima County have boosted their businesses with the help of the Enterprise Challenge. You may recognize Jenny Maes Gluten Free Bakery, Washington Vision Therapy, Milt's Gourmet BBQ Pellets, Selah's Smiles, and Tieton Farm & Creamery, all businesses that entered the contest and are thriving today. 

The Enterprise Challenge will start in October this year and run through mid-January 2016. The cost to participate is $150 by October 9th (or $125 if registration received prior to October 2.).  To sign up for the contest click here  

If you have questions about the contest or want more information, please contact Jean Brown at 509-575-1140 or jean@ycda.com or David Bowen at 509-925-2002 or david@kittitascountychamber.com.

"The Enterprise Challenge made us work but it was fun too. New Vision did a great job coaching us towards success and we are poised to grow in the Yakima Valley." - Jenny and Jeff Simmons, Owners, Jenny Mae's Gluten Free Bakery