Jean publishes a blog called the Enterprise Corner. It features articles on entrepreneurship, local industry trends, manufacturing news and periodic ‘toolbox’ articles showcasing assistance, incentives and other resources for local businesses.
New Vision, the region’s economic development association, announced today that the annual business plan contest, the Enterprise Challenge will kick off its 6th year in October. “We are very pleased to continue the partnership with the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce to offer more resources to small business throughout our region”, said New Vision’s Business Development Director Jean Brown.
The contest timelines and process will generally stay the same. Contestants will first take classes that help them craft a business plan. A group of judges then review plans submitted and narrows down the field. By December a group of eight finalists is announced and these entrepreneurs compete for over $17,500 in prizes. The winner will receive $10,000. Second and third place finishers get $5,000 and $2,500 respectively.
Brown explained that New Vision and the Kittitas Chamber are both taking extra steps to make sure that every contestant has a great learning experience. “We are covering a large area and we want to make sure that contestants get the help they need. We know that it can be daunting to write a business plan so we are making every effort to provide extra study sessions and hands-on help for participating entrepreneurs.”
The Enterprise Challenge is celebrating its sixth year. New Vision created the contest to identify and support promising local entrepreneurs. The association also organized the contest to celebrate small business and help focus the region on entrepreneurship as an economic development strategy. “We are thrilled with the results that have come out of the Enterprise Challenge”, notes Brown. “Over 100 entrepreneurs have participated in the contest and more than 40 have gone on to start successful small enterprises.”
Jim Armstrong president of the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce thinks the contest can boost Central Washington. “Small business is the backbone of our regional economy and we are thrilled to be part of a contest and initiative that support entrepreneurship.”