Cultivating entrepreneurs in Washington State.

watering canEconomic Gardening is a proven model for helping entrepreneurs move from a successful small business to a flourishing and mature company. Since its introduction in Washington State in 2016, over 20 second stage businesses have benefited from the peer learning, leadership education and strategic information provided through the Economic Gardening program.

Washington Vision Therapy Center is one of the first companies to graduate from the Economic Gardening program. Dr. Benjamin Winters had built a successful practice in Yakima and could see the potential of expansion into other cities. Through his mentoring in the Economic Gardening program, he developed a plan for a type of franchising that would allow an optometrist to operate independently and still benefit from franchise incentives. The Economic Gardening specialists helped Dr. Winters identify potential markets and evaluate various franchise frameworks.  Read more about Washington Vision Therapy Center’s experience.

Based in Lacy, Washington, SCJ Alliance, a planning and engineering firm, was generating more than $10 million in annual revenue. After completing the Economic Gardening program, the company opened a new office, added employees and sees potential of increasing annual revenue by $1 million. During a four-month period, Economic Gardening specialists helped the leadership team improve their digital marketing, expand opportunities with military and federal procurement, and identify new geographic market opportunities.

Read more about the benefits SCJ Alliance received through the program. 

If your second stage business is trying to get over the hump in terms of growth and expansion, contact the Washington State Department of Commerce, Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness office to see if you qualify for the Economic Gardening program. Email: anne.nelson@commerce.wa.gov  or call: 360-890-2003.

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