We are pleased to introduce the first annual GO! Local Business Plan Competition in conjunction with our annual Earth Week events. Both start-ups and existing businesses in the Gorge are invited to apply. Because this is a social impact business plan competition, we are seeking entrepreneurs and businesses that have a triple-bottom-line mission that includes care for the planet, care for people, and economic viability. Although all scales of businesses are welcome to apply, we are especially seeking entries from businesses that gross less than $250,000/year in revenues.

A committee of local business experts will review all submitted business plans and choose up to five entries to present their idea in-person on April 23 at the Pint Shack in Hood River from 6-8 pm.

Short pitches will be made to the audience of the business concept and efforts being made towards sustainability. Based on those live pitches, the audience will pick the top three candidates through a simple paper vote. The top three candidates will then be eligible to apply for a business loan up to $5,000 through our partners at the Kiva Zip program, a not-for-profit micro enterprise lending program.

Gorge Owned can endorse up to three borrowers to apply for Kiva Zip business loans (however, winners are not guaranteed to be offered a loan by Kiva Zip, even if they have been endorsed by GO). If approved for a loan by Kiva Zip, GO will also help those borrowers market their loan crowdfunding campaigns to help them achieve their financial targets.

Interested entrepreneurs and businesses should apply through our simple online form. The deadline to apply is April 3rd, 2015.

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