Nonprofit Partner Spotlight: Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship

Friday, August 12, 2022

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U.S. Congresswoman Suzan DelBene visited the EDASC office in July to recognize EDASC partner the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship (CIE) for its work, awarding the organization $180,000 in federal funding to expand its services. 

CIE’s mission is to help people in marginalized communities with limited resources to start a business, earn a living, and build generational wealth. The success of its Comadres program providing entrepreneurial support for Latinas in Skagit County gained the attention of DelBene, who was able to secure one-time federal funding for the organization. 

CIE also serves the Olympic Peninsula and in the Palouse region.
“This funding is incredibly important,” said CIE’s Executive Director Mike Skinner. “It comes at an important time in our growth.”

Comadres helps Latinas quickly explore their business idea, providing access to education and resources for small business, and connects participants to other women launching businesses. Isabel Sanchez, who participated in the first cohort of Comadres, said the women “co-mothered” each other by supporting one another through the eight-week class and beyond to provide encouragement in launching their businesses.

Participants who successfully completed the course and demonstrated a viable business idea are eligible for a $500 seed grant to help with startup costs.

Comadres is an example of a creative approach to encourage equity in economic development, said EDASC CEO John Sternlicht.

“The pandemic highlighted the disparity in business, finance and employment for women and people of color. CIE’s efforts are helping to bridge that gap,” he said.

EDASC and CIE are natural partners, Sternlicht said, as the organizations share similar missions and visions for their work and offer business advising to underrepresented populations. In the future, EDASC and CIE plan to offer joint programming. EDASC also provides office space for CIE.

The next cohort of Comadres begins Sept. 1. Visit CIE’s website to learn more.

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