For many entrepreneurs, coaching that supports their journey as business owners is crucial to their success. Whether it is being involved in a community of like-minded entrepreneurs that collaborates together or having access to local experts who can help take your business to the next level, there is a lot that goes into getting a business off the ground. To help give entrepreneurs a leg up in their journey of business ownership, Columbia River Economic Development Council (CREDC) recently announced that it will launch its pilot business accelerator program this spring.
In 2021, CREDC applied for a business accelerator grant from the Small Business Administration, and they received $50,000. They will funnel the funds directly into to launch the program, which aims to help Southwest Washington entrepreneurs make their business dreams a reality.
CREDC plans on launching the program in May 2022 and it will run until August 2022. The program costs a one-time payment of $500, and scholarships are available. The organization encourages businesses that distribute ideas, software, or product to and from Southwest Washington to apply. The program will look closely at all applicants, placing preference on STEM and R&D entrepreneurs in high-tech, clean tech, and life sciences, in addition to women and minority entrepreneurs or those that are building technologies to address key policy issues like supply chain resilience, clean energy, and more.
Program participants will be divided into cohorts of 10 to 12 people and will be paired with coaches to provide insight into a variety of business topics. Some of these include human resources, financial literacy, sales strategies, success visioning, and more. One-on-one-mentoring will be a key part of the four in-person learning days, and there will also be virtual roundtables offered. In addition, participants will be required to read and complete worksheets, and work on assignments both before and after sessions meet.
“Investing in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem is energizing,” said CREDC President Jennifer Baker. “It signals the capacity for creativity and innovation in Clark County and demonstrates the dynamic business landscape.”
To learn more about the program or to apply, click here.