What is it?!

The Enterprise Challenge is an annual business plan contest for new and emerging companies in Yakima and Kittitas Counties. We believe it is a great way for our organization and the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce to celebrate small business and support promising ventures in Central Washington. Over 80 entrepreneurs have competed in the contest since its inception and many of them have gone on to start businesses in our communities.

Over $17,500 in cash prizes will be awarded to contest winners this year (1st place wins $10,000! 2nd Place gets $5,000 and 3rd Place gets $2,500). The bigger goal though is to help every entrepreneur involved in the contest advance or improve their business.

Contestant Benefits:

  • Instruction on business planning, marketing, financing, technology and related topics.
  • Follow-up help sessions with experts in finance, marketing, law and other business topics
  • Feedback on plans submitted by at least seven judges who have practical business experience
  • Opportunities to network and collaborate with other great entrepreneurs
  • Significant publicity for your business through local media and other channels

How it Works:

  • Contestants attend classes and tutoring sessions that help them develop their business plans.
  • Plans are submitted to judges who evaluate each enterprise*
  • Contestants with the highest scores move on through two more stages of the contest over the following two months
  • The contest features a pitch your business trade show and a final presentation round
  • Winners are announced a gala awards banquet

*Judges use scoring criteria to evaluate contestants on how well they have thought through and developed their enterprise’s marketing, financing, management, and operations plans. These judges provide contestants feedback on their ventures and business plans which is invaluable information for anyone launching a new business. (Click here for contest rules and scoring details)

The biggest benefit is that participants get the counsel and support they need to get their businesses off to a strong start. We designed the contest so that it helps all participants even if they don’t advance to the winner’s circle. By offering in-depth business seminars and offering hands on counseling to everyone in the contest, we are confident that our participants gain traction with their enterprise and learn what it takes to launch a successful business.
Entrepreneurs from all parts of Yakima and Kittitas Counties have boosted their businesses with the help of the Enterprise Challenge. You may recognize Jenny Maes Gluten Free Bakery, Washington Vision Therapy, Milt’s Gourmet BBQ Pellets, Selah’s Smiles, and Tieton Farm & Creamery, all businesses that entered the contest and are thriving today.

If you have questions about the contest or want more information, please contact Jean Brown at 509-575-1140 or jean@ycda.com or Sarah Truglio at 509-925-2002 or sarah@kittitascountychamber.com.

Watch this space! Details on our next Enterprise Challenge will be released here.