Entrepreneur support service now open in downtown Mount Vernon

Thursday, February 04, 2021

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MOUNT VERNON — Small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs in Skagit and Island counties expanded business advising services in early January as the Center for  Inclusive Entrepreneurship (CIE) opened its new branch in downtown Mount Vernon.

The office, co-located with the Mount Vernon Downtown Association at 325 West 1st Street, provides early-stage advising to entrepreneurs looking to start a small business.

CIE has been working with entrepreneurs in underserved communities on the Olympic Peninsula since 2013. In 2019, CIE partnered with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to establish a branch office in Port Angeles to provide ongoing support.

CIE also spearheaded the aspiring entrepreneur support program StartUp Sedro-Woolley, which expanded to StartUp Skagit Valley in 2020.

CIE Executive Director Mike Skinner said he was excited to further expand their support services to Skagit County.

“Through StartUp Skagit Valley and other initiatives, CIE has already helped over 60 individuals at various stages of launching and growing a small business,” Skinner said.

CIE’s Mount Vernon office will serve as an entrepreneur onramp to local SBDC centers. While CIE focuses on aspiring entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses, the SBDC focuses on helping existing businesses expand exponentially to bring new jobs and new investment to the region.

“The entrepreneur onramp is an innovative model that expands the entrepreneurship support eco-system in our region,” said EDASC CEO John Sternlicht. “By helping us reach  more potential entrepreneurs, particularly those in underserved groups such as people of color and women, CIE’s program will help us build more businesses ready and able to contribute to a more sustainable, equitable and resilient local economy.”

Contact CIE at 425-243-7399 or communityenterprise@cie-nw.org.

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