As we say goodbye to 2023, it's time to reflect on the journey of Business Impact NW over the past year. Thanks to our dedicated team, partners, and the community we serve.
Expanding Our Reach
In 2023, Business Impact NW reached new horizons with the opening of the Oregon Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center and the Alaska Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC). We also received an extension to provide SBA Microloans in Idaho, allowing us to issue microloans in each of the four states we serve. These expansions represent our commitment to supporting businesses across the Pacific Northwest.
Access to Capital
Currently in 2023, we have done 115 number of loans, totaling $10.5 million dollars in funding. During 2023, we were granted approval for the SBA Community Advantage Loan to be offered in all four states. Also, in collaboration with the City of Tigard in Oregon, we started to provide loans through the Tigard Impact Fund. These funds have helped diverse businesses to thrive, create jobs, and contribute to the economic growth of local communities.
New & Continued Successful Programs
We introduced new programs like the Incubator Kitchen Program at 21 Acres, tailored for Washington small farm and agricultural food businesses, and the Port of Seattle Business Accelerator Program, aiming to increase business and contracting opportunities with the Port for minority, women, and small business owners. These initiatives complemented our existing programs, classes, and business coaching. Furthermore, some programs were brought back this year due to their previous success: Market Ready, Money Matters, Root to Rise, and the Small Business Digital Accelerator Program.
In May we were proud to announce that Business Impact NW received the 2023 Veteran's Business Outreach Center (VBOC) Excellence in Service Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for our work in Region X.
The Power of Collaboration
In 2023, we strengthened our partnerships with local businesses, government agencies, and other organizations to create a network that fosters entrepreneurship and community development. Our partnerships with Pierce County, City of Kent, Washington County, the City of Tigard, MAPS, and so many more, have played a key role in expanding our impact.
Our Annual Events
Beyond our classes, trainings, drop-in hours, and workshops, Business Impact NW is proud to provide four annual events every year to support local entrepreneurs. These events focus on providing resources, growth opportunities, funding, and celebration of achievement.
In February, our Food Biz Week event focused on providing insight, education, and networking for food and farm entrepreneurs across the Pacific Northwest region. On May 25th, the Washington Women’s Business Center (WWBC), a program of Business Impact NW, hosted their premier event showcasing women-owned businesses at Celebrating Dreams. The event provided a platform for female entrepreneurs to showcase their success, network, and have valuable discussions. Business Impact NW's 8th annual signature event, IMPACT Pitch was held on October 5th. The event and competition provided a chance for idea-phase, startup, or existing businesses making a positive impact on their communities to win capital. Operation Entrepreneur, the last event of the year was held in November. For three days, Veteran business coaches dove into trends and statistics affecting all veteran-owned businesses and provided actionable steps to improve business practices.
Impactful Success Stories
Behind every statistic lies a success story. Throughout the year, we had the privilege of witnessing numerous entrepreneurs overcome challenges, achieve milestones, and make a positive impact on their communities. For a closer look at these stories, please visit our blog.
Here's to a prosperous and impactful 2024!
About the author
Carolina is responsible for leading the Marketing and Communications department. She has a vast professional experience in marketing, market research and consulting, working with clients and organizations across many industries and in multiple Latin American countries. She earned her B.A. in Business Administration from Universidad Austral de Chile, a Master of Finance from Universidad de Chile, and a Certificate in Marketing from UC Berkeley. Outside of work she enjoys hiking, watching documentaries and volunteering.