Yakima County Development Association - Enterprise Corner

Jean Brown

Jean Brown

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.

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Enterprise Corner

Startups Compete for $17,500 in prizes

Startups Compete for $17,500 in prizes - February 27, 2017

The Yakima County Development Association and Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce announced today that eight emerging businesses are advancing to the final round of the Enterprise Challenge business plan contest. These entrepreneurs were selected by a group of 26 judges that met with and evaluated business plan contestants at an afternoon trade show last week. Based on their scores and evaluations, the judges ultimately picked the following eight companies to move forward in our contest: ... Read More »


Winners of the 2015 Enterprise Challenge Announced!

Winners of the 2015 Enterprise Challenge Announced! - January 22, 2016

The Yakima County Development Association and the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce announced today that three emerging businesses were selected as winners of the association's sixth annual business plan contest. These entrepreneurs were selected by six judges that met with business plan contestants yesterday. Yakima Hop Candy won New Vision's Enterprise Challenge and will receive $10,000. Yakima Hop Candy is the proud creator of LollyHops. This boutique pop is infused with locally grown ... Read More »


Enterprise Challenge Finalists Announced

Enterprise Challenge Finalists Announced - January 04, 2016

The Yakima County Development Association and Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce that eight emerging businesses are advancing to the final round of the Enterprise Challenge business plan contest. These top finalists were chosen from 26 community members who served as judges in the competitions Entrepreneur Trade Show held in December. This is the last phase of the contest. These finalists will now present their business plans to our final round of judges who will ... Read More »


Top 16 Head to the Entrepreneur Trade Show

Top 16 Head to the Entrepreneur Trade Show - December 03, 2015

Our annual business plan competition, the Enterprise Challenge, is heating up! We have just completed first round judging and sixteen contestants are now off to the races prepping for our "pitch your business" Entrepreneur Trade Show. I have been getting to know the contestants and have been very impressed with their hard work and efforts thus far. There's a very broad mix of entrepreneurs, experience levels and businesses, which is adding a lot to the competition. This year many of the ... Read More »


Enterprise Challenge Attracts Stellar Entrepreneurs

Enterprise Challenge Attracts Stellar Entrepreneurs - October 15, 2015

The sixth year of the Enterprise Challenge has attracted 26 of the brightest entrepreneurs from Kittitas and Yakima Counties. We are excited to host the annual business plan contest this year with our partners from Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce. Over the last 5 years the Challenge has seen over 100 entrepreneurs compete and today nearly 40 of those past contestants have started a business in Yakima and Kittitas Counties. This week contestants went through the first set of workshops ... Read More »


Meet our Challenge Workshop Instructors

Meet our Challenge Workshop Instructors - September 18, 2015

This year we are happy to announce that we have a top notch group of instructors lined up for our Enterprise Challenge contestant classes. Linda Johnson, Nicole Donegan, Shane Pierone and Eric Puryear will be in charge of our seminars this year and we think these sessions will be better than ever before. Our contest starts in the classroom as we want to help everyone in the business plan contest learn what it takes to launch and manage a successful business. Our instructors cover marketing, ... Read More »


Judges Are the MVP's of the Enterprise Challenge

Judges Are the MVP's of the Enterprise Challenge - September 01, 2015

The most valuable aspect of the Enterprise Challenge each year is the feedback contestants get from our judges. There are three points during the contest when judges evaluate participating entrepreneurs. Judges use our contest scoring criteria and ultimately determine who wins the Challenge. More importantly though they provide invaluable feedback to the contestants. Recently, I visited with a couple of past judges to learn what they think of the completion and to see if they had any tips to... Read More »


Business Plan Contest Kicks Off The 6th Year

Business Plan Contest Kicks Off The 6th Year - August 10, 2015

New Vision, the region's economic development association, announced today that the annual business plan contest, the Enterprise Challenge will kick off its 6 th 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 ... Read More »


Three Ways having a Business Plan Pays Off

Three Ways having a Business Plan Pays Off - July 03, 2015

It is no secret that we encourage entrepreneurs to develop a business plan prior to starting a business. In fact, part of the reason we started the Enterprise Challenge Business Plan Contest was to identify and reward Yakima County's best and brightest new businesses and entrepreneurs. One of the most valuable things entrepreneurs can do is to use their business plan as a working document and review often. The real value isn't in the actual completed plan, but in the process of gathering ... Read More »


TOOL KIT:  Espanol Business Resources

TOOL KIT: Espanol Business Resources - June 03, 2015

There are a variety of resources available in Espaol for business owners and entrepreneurs. This issue of Tool Kit will highlight the online assistance available in Spanish. The newly released Small Business Administration Spanish Language Website offers all the assistance services of SBA in a convenient website dedicated to Spanish readers. Their services include advice for starting and managing a business, online workshops, information on loans and financing and opportunities to take advantage... Read More »


Crowdfunding:  Organizing and Running Successful Online Campaigns

Crowdfunding: Organizing and Running Successful Online Campaigns - June 01, 2015

Our crowdfunding workshop at Yakima Maker Space was a big success. About 30 entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders joined us to learn more about crowdfunding , the popular online funding portals that offer significant new ways to fund start-up businesses, social causes, and non-profits. We teamed up with Yakima Maker Space and I Heart Yakima to offer the class, and brought in Greg Paley, a leading business consultant and attorney to highlight how crowdfunding works. Paley started the class by ... Read More »


Greg Paley to Teach Crowdfunding Seminar in Yakima

Greg Paley to Teach Crowdfunding Seminar in Yakima - April 14, 2015

New Vision and its partners I Heart Yakima and Yakima Maker Space are pleased to offer a seminar on Crowdfunding: May 27th 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. Yakima Maker Space 16 S. 1st Street Yakima, WA 98901 Crowdfunding has become enormously popular over the last couple of years as a way to raise money for a business, project or a non-profit. and we are pleased to line up Greg Paley to teach our workshop. He is an attorney with years of business advisory experience - more ... Read More »


TOOL KIT:  Government Grants Available to Support Small Business Exports

TOOL KIT: Government Grants Available to Support Small Business Exports - March 12, 2015

Earlier this year Washington State secured a significant grant from the Small Business Administration to help state small businesses grow through exporting. Washington's Department of Commerce will use the funds to help businesses with export vouchers, trade show support, rural outreach and training, and export finance training Of particular interest are the state's export vouchers . These grants for up to $5000 can be used by eligible businesses to support international sales development. ... Read More »


Ignite Your Business Marketing Plan

Ignite Your Business Marketing Plan - March 06, 2015

Your marketing plan is your strategy to drive customers to your business. Every business has to market itself, but not many small businesses have an effective marketing plan. Even fewer have one they actually use. It's time to update it and make it work for you. Your plan should be simple, so you'll actually do it. There are just four steps. You can create your plan in any form that makes sense for you: outline, notecards, etc. Just be sure it addresses each of these four areas. 1. Who is ... Read More »


Student Entrepreneurs Step Up to the  Challenge

Student Entrepreneurs Step Up to the Challenge - February 13, 2015

CWU's Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship is delighted to host the first high school student business plan competition called the Entrepreneur's Challenge . The competition kicked off in November at the Capital Theater where hundreds of students gathered to hear the journey of several local entrepreneurs and learn more about the contest. The chance to "win big" got their attention when $8000 will be awarded to the top individuals or teams. Twenty eight students from seven different ... Read More »


TOOL KIT:  SCORE Focuses On Small Business Assistance

TOOL KIT: SCORE Focuses On Small Business Assistance - February 03, 2015

Local SCORE chapters are a great resource for entrepreneurs and small business owners. SCORE is affiliated with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and has been mentoring small business owners for more than forty years. SCORE has local chapters across the country - over 13,000 volunteers nationwide work within these groups to offer small business entrepreneurs confidential business counseling services at no charge. The Yakima Valley SCORE chapter is made up of a diverse collection of... Read More »


Exporting 101 Workshop - Enter the Global Market

Exporting 101 Workshop - Enter the Global Market - January 29, 2015

Did you know that 95% of potential customers live outside of the U.S? If you want to grow your business in the future it's time to consider selling your product or service internationally. Join trade expert Jim Foley in Yakima for a great seminar on exporting. Export 101 Workshop Tuesday, April 28, 2015 9: 00 am - 4:00 pm Yakima Holiday Inn 802 E. Yakima Ave. Cost: $45 Ask about group discounts! Materials and lunch will be provided Space is limited Register Here or contact Jean at New Vision... Read More »


Clothing Shop Claims Enterprise Challenge Title

Clothing Shop Claims Enterprise Challenge Title - January 23, 2015

The Yakima County Development Association and the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce recently announced that three emerging businesses were selected as winners of the association's fifth annual business plan contest. These entrepreneurs were selected by seven judges that met with business plan contestants in late January. Claim Clothing won New Vision's Enterprise Challenge and will receive $10,000. Claim Clothing is a new business that started last spring in downtown Ellensburg. Claim ... Read More »


TOOL KIT:  Financing for Start Ups

TOOL KIT: Financing for Start Ups - January 09, 2015

Finding capital to start a new business is difficult but with the right amount of homework, attitude and persistance entrepreneurs can often scratch up the funds to launch their business. We encourage entrepreneurs to learn more about bootstrap financing, also known as 'self-financing', which means starting a business with little or no outside capital. Many folks say, "I don't need any money, or I'm going to get a grant to start up my business!" . Contrary to what you read online, or hear on... Read More »


Eight Entrepreneurs Advance in Enterprise Challenge Bizplan Contest

Eight Entrepreneurs Advance in Enterprise Challenge Bizplan Contest - December 12, 2014

The Yakima County Development Association and Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce that eight emerging businesses are advancing to the final round of the Enterprise Challenge business plan contest. These entrepreneurs were selected by a group of 22 judges that met with and evaluated business plan contestants at an afternoon trade show recently. Based on their scores and evaluations, the judges ultimately picked the following companies to move on in our contest: Pride ... Read More »


Washington State Enters Crowdfunding Arena

Washington State Enters Crowdfunding Arena - October 21, 2014

Washington State is on the verge of being in the crowdfunding business. The state legislature passed HB 2023 last spring. The legislation allows state businesses to raise up to $1 million during any 12 month period from Washington state residents in a crowdfunding campaign. More recently the State's Securities Division finished promulgated rules for the state's crowdfunding legislation. The rules are: Allow businesses to file a simplified offering document designed to provide adequate ... Read More »


Three Reasons to Polish Your Business Plan

Three Reasons to Polish Your Business Plan - October 03, 2014

It is no secret that we encourage entrepreneurs to develop a business plan prior to starting a business. In fact, part of the reason we started the Enterprise Challeng e Business Plan Contest was to identify and reward Yakima County's best and brightest new businesses and entrepreneurs. One of the most valuable things entrepreneurs can do is to use their business plan as a working document and it review often. The real value isn't in the actual completed plan, but in the process of gathering ... Read More »


Tool Kit:  Small Business Administration Loans

Tool Kit: Small Business Administration Loans - September 10, 2014

The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) provides counsel and assistance to America's entrepreneurs and established businesses. As part of its duties the SBA administers two popular loan programs, the 7A and CDC/504. It also offers microloans through partners and administers disaster loans . Let's take a look at SBA's two most popular lending programs The SBA 7A program encourages small business lending by providing repayment guarantees to banks and lending institutions that make... Read More »


HOW to WIN the ENTERPRISE CHALLENGE

HOW to WIN the ENTERPRISE CHALLENGE - September 03, 2014

I recently checked in with previous winners of our bizplan contest to see how they are doing and get their input regarding what it took to make it to the winners circle. It was interesting that our winners shared a lot of common advice: Get a jumpstart by starting on your plan before the contest starts. Almost every winner said having a full plan or even a start gave them the ability to refine rather than create. Our winners were able to learn from classroom instructors and improve their ... Read More »


Fifth Annual Enterprise Challenge to Include Kittitas County Entrepreneurs

Fifth Annual Enterprise Challenge to Include Kittitas County Entrepreneurs - August 03, 2014

We are pleased to announce today that New Vision will invite Kittitas County entrepreneurs to compete in its annual business plan contest, the Enterprise Challenge . "We are very pleased to partner with the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce to expand our contest and offer more resources to small business", said New Vision's Dave McFadden. "It's exciting to work on a bigger better contest with a group that is also deeply committed to entrepreneurship." The contest timelines and process will ... Read More »


Throwing Out Your First Pitch

Throwing Out Your First Pitch - July 17, 2014

Can you sum up your business in two minutes or less? Do you have an 'elevator pitch' prepared for that opportune moment when you can (hopefully) captivate a potential investor's attention? Anyone can have a pitch, but developing a good pitch takes practice. The next new thing is to have a video pitch - in addition to YouTube, here are just a few ideas out there for entrepreneurs to post their video pitch: Virgin Airlines has just launched PitchTV . Upload your two-minute video pitch - the ... Read More »


What Does It Take To Be An  Entrepreneur?

What Does It Take To Be An Entrepreneur? - June 06, 2014

What does it take to not only start and manage a business, but also to make it a resounding success? That is a question asked by many people who set out with business plans in hand. One thing that distinguishes the successful entrepreneur from others is that the "level of commitment and willingness to buck convention often outweigh other factors in determining whether a business ultimately succeeds or fails." Naysayers who predict failure actually fuel the business owner's desire to succeed. ... Read More »


New Resources for Entrepreneurs and Established Businesses

New Resources for Entrepreneurs and Established Businesses - September 03, 2013

Over the past year we have done a lot of work on our websites. As part of these improvement efforts our office has developed a lot of great information and resources for businesses of all shapes and sizes. For established businesses we have developed content on: Help With Expansion ; Financing ; Exporting ; Hiring and Training Employees ; and Real Estate and Permitting . For new businesses and entrepreneurs there are sections on: Help for Startups ; Startup Funding ; Business Plans ; ... Read More »


Business Blogging Bolsters Customer Interest

Business Blogging Bolsters Customer Interest - May 06, 2013

Blogs provide business owners with an unprecedented way of reaching and engaging large audiences in a way that traditional marketing pushes can't match. Blogs can help put a human face to your business while showcasing your knowledge and passion for your chosen field. For example, a landscape owner can showcase plant maintenance and fertilizing tips, a restaurant owner can share recipe secrets. Just about anyone can share tips of the trade that connect them with their customer base. There are ... Read More »


Starting a Business in Yakima County

Starting a Business in Yakima County - October 19, 2012

If you are thinking about starting a business in Yakima County and Washington State, here are some tips to get started. You may want to take a quick self-assessment to identify if you are ready to start a business. Many entrepreneurs hope that they can start a business and work part-time and make loads of money, but in my experience talking with emerging companies, it is the opposite. They bootstrap funds to get the money together, work long and hard developing their idea and business plan and ... Read More »



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