Economic Gardening

The Washington State Economic Gardening Program takes an entrepreneurial approach to regional prosperity. Often referred to as a “grow from within” strategy, it helps existing companies within a community grow larger. In contrast to traditional business assistance, economic gardening focuses on strategic growth challenges, such as developing new markets, refining business models and gaining access to competitive intelligence. Working in conjunction with the Edward Lowe Foundation, economic gardening specialists help CEOs identify which issues are hindering their growth and then leverage sophisticated tools to deliver insights and information that CEOs can apply immediately.


Based on the highly successful program run by the Center for Business & Innovation in Thurston County, this 35-hour intensive is designed to provide small business owners with additional skills in financial mastery, operational efficiencies and marketing. Instructors guide owners through a proven curriculum that will help them improve profitability, control costs and grow their business with confidence.

Global Entrepreneurship Month

Held every November, Global Entrepreneurship Month is a series of events, webinars, competitions, panels, showcases and learning opportunities geared to entrepreneurs or future entrepreneurs who are interested in starting their own businesses.

Startup Centers

Startup Centers offer entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses a suite of consulting, mentoring, and educational programs and services designed to jump-start and grow local businesses. StartUp NCW in Wenatchee is affiliated with the Department of Commerce but economic partners throughout Washington operate other startup centers.

Retirement Marketplace

This employee or employer program allows owners and workers to plan for retirement through 401(k) and IRA retirement plans that are vetted by the state and offered by private plan companies.

Disaster Preparedness & Recovery

A major crisis or disaster can seriously disrupt operations, or worse, put you out of business. Startup Washington provides small businesses with planning tools that will help them prepare and recover from natural and man-made disasters, from a robbery and hacking to a mudslide or earthquake. We all assist communities, economic development organizations and small businesses with recovery and sustainability efforts following a disaster.

Growing Rural Economies (T.E.A.M.)

Entrepreneurship is recognized as critical to the future of rural Washington. Growing Rural Economies helps rural communities focus on building a sustainable community using the T.E.A.M. approach to economic development. The objective is to provide systematic programs for entrepreneurs and communities that stimulate growth through Technical Assistance, Education & Training, Access to Capital and Mentorship & Training (T.E.A.M.).

Northwest Economic Development Course

The annual Northwest Economic Development Course is the premier event offering intensive training in the basic concepts, methods, and strategies of local economic development. 2019 marks the 29th year of this course that has graduated over 2,000 practitioners throughout the country. A diverse and experienced faculty provides an excellent blend of theory and practice. Course content is oriented toward practical application. Practitioners new to the field as well as those with experience seeking new ideas and tools are encouraged to attend. Program details and registration will be available on this site in early 2019.

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