The Vice President of Entrepreneurship for the Kauffman Foundation, Victor Hwang recently entertained the question: “What if everyone got a fair shot?” Hwang challenges the notion of a thriving economy based solely on the success of relatively few large companies, big banks, and the Dow Jones average. He points to research that indicates that smaller, local entrepreneurs are needed to reduce poverty, nurture diversity, grow jobs, and foster a more equitable economic infrastructure. Hwang presents a challenge to our communities to promote economic development using a bottom-up model and poses some “what if” questions as a blueprint for making it happen.
Local support for entrepreneurs in the North Central Washington region shows a commitment to leveling the economic playing field for our diverse community. The Wenatchee Valley College Center for Entrepreneurship facilitates programs such as 1 Million Cups monthly community support network meetings and StartUp Office Hour meetings with local experts in the field as well as promotes Mentorship opportunities designed to support the entrepreneur just starting or growing their business. In addition, access to customized training and StartUp Boot Camp programs are available through the Wenatchee Valley College Center for Entrepreneurship. Other local Entrepreneurship Support Organizations such as Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), the Economic Alliance of Okanogan County, the NCW Economic Development District, Greater Wenatchee Area Technology Alliance (GWATA), a network of Chamber organizations, and many more provide support, guidance, and opportunities for entrepreneurs.