A dozen Southeast entrepreneurs will attend an economic boot camp this month to learn how to develop a business plan.
The 12, from six communities, won the first round of a competition designed to help build rural communities. One is a Wrangell guitar-maker.
It’s part of a program called Path to Prosperity, sponsored by Sealaska’s Haa Aani Community Development Fund and The Nature Conservancy.
Haa Aani’s Alana Peterson says the 12 were chosen from among 59 applicants.
“We know there’s a lot of great ideas out there in the region. A lot of individuals and entrepreneurs have some really great business ideas that can help satisfy the needs that we have in this region,” she says.
The free business boot camp takes place October 11th to 13th in Juneau.
Peterson says it will include workshops on business-plan writing, financing and sustainable business practices.
“We want to see that they’ve looked at how their business affects the society as a whole, the environment and that they really try to add shared value in all the activities they do. We want these businesses to be businesses that improve their communities all around,” she says.
The 12 semi-finalists include a mill, two farms, two guitar-makers and a feed-and-seed business. Four are from Haines, three from Hoonah, two from Juneau and one each from Craig, Wrangell and Sitka.
Peterson says small-town proposals were considered first, then those from larger cities.
“Really, the main goal is to create the long-term positive social and economic impacts in the rural communities. And we really believe that entrepreneurship is the path to achieving that goal,” she says.
Two winners will be announced in late January. They will receive up to $40,000 for consulting and technical services to develop their businesses.
Path to Prosperity will begin a new round of competition soon after that.
Business Location Principal Applicant
1) 7 Echoes Homestead Haines Carol Tuynman
2) Glacier Ground Rocknobs Haines Debra Schnabel
3) Shaan Seet, Inc. Craig James Carle
4) Chilkoot Indian Enterprises Haines Scott Hansen
5) Icy Straits Lumber & Milling Hoonah Wesley D. Tyler
6) Tongass Guitars Wrangell Stephen Helgeson
7) South East Alaska Produce Hoonah Chelsea Schoonover
8) Raven Guitars Hoonah Kevin Skeek
9) The Sawmill Farm Sitka Bobbie Daniels
10) Coppa Juneau Marc Wheeler
11) Shelter Island Family Farm Shelter Island Nathan Soboleff
12) Klehini Grange Feed & Seed Haines Tamsen Cassidy