Celebrating entrepreneurship in Skagit County, WA: The Entrepreneur Expo

Celebrating entrepreneurship in Skagit County, WA: The Entrepreneur Expo Main Photo

1 Nov 2023

Small Business, entrepreneurship

November is Global Entrepreneurship Month, and the Washington State Department of Commerce is celebrating entrepreneurs with a half-day seminar at locations around the state.

“Commerce chose us as one of only four sites statewide to host this inaugural event, and we are delighted to participate,” said EDASC CEO John Sternlicht.

The Entrepreneur Expo on Nov. 7 is a day filled with inspiration, networking, and invaluable resources for entrepreneurs and business owners. 

Global Entrepreneurship Month: A statewide celebration

Washington state wholeheartedly embraces Global Entrepreneurship Month, offering residents many opportunities to grow as entrepreneurs. The month's events cover various topics, from leveraging artificial intelligence to attracting and retaining Gen Z talent to unlocking funding opportunities. Chris Wills, small business program manager with Commerce, describes the month as "an opportunity to connect, learn, and thrive."

The Entrepreneur Expo: A dynamic day of celebration

The Entrepreneur Expo, hosted by EDASC and the Washington State Department of Commerce, is a highlight of Global Entrepreneurship Month in Skagit. As Wills says, the Expo “serves as a hub for startup founders, business leaders, aspiring entrepreneurs, industry experts, investors, and thought leaders to come together and celebrate innovation, technology, entrepreneurship, culture, and big ideas during one dynamic day.”

Fostering Innovation and Business Growth: “Collaboration, not competition”

The Entrepreneur Expo is vital in fostering innovation and business growth in the Skagit region. Wills emphasizes the importance of collaboration and determination.

"Where most cities compete, Washington's cities collaborate,” he says. “When other communities close their doors, we open our arms; when other people give up, we hustle forward."

The Expo contributes to the local entrepreneurial ecosystem by:

1. Fostering Innovation: It provides a platform for entrepreneurs to showcase their innovative ideas and solutions, promoting a culture of creativity and progress.

2. Facilitating Networking: The event creates networking opportunities for entrepreneurs to connect with potential partners, mentors and investors.

3. Providing Resources: Entrepreneurs gain access to valuable resources, both in terms of knowledge and support, to overcome challenges and hurdles they may encounter.

Inspiring entrepreneurs and business owners

The Expo features a range of activities designed to inspire and educate aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners. One exciting session focuses on the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its potential to enhance various aspects of a business, from marketing to content creation and automated customer support. The session aims to provide tips and tools for entrepreneurs to leverage conversational AI effectively.

Additionally, entrepreneurs will gain insights into the various small business resources available in their community. Wills says Commerce has an ecosystem of small business programs tailored to meet entrepreneurs where they are, whether in the early stages of their business journey or somewhere in between.

Supporting entrepreneurship in Skagit and beyond

The Commerce actively supports entrepreneurship in Skagit County by collaborating with local organizations like the Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County. This partnership ensures that vital resources are available to small businesses in the region. The Entrepreneurship Expo serves as a pivotal platform for fostering networking, knowledge-sharing, and the promotion of an entrepreneurial culture, aligning with the broader strategy of encouraging and enabling regional entrepreneurship.

Current and aspiring business owners will have the opportunity to connect, learn, and thrive on Nov. 7. The Entrepreneur Expo is a testament to Washington's commitment to nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit. As Wills puts it: "It's our job to help create 'the next big thing.’”

Would you like to be a part of this exciting event? More information can be found here.