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How Feeding the ‘Soul of Seattle’ Begins With Young Entrepreneurs

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How Feeding the ‘Soul of Seattle’ Begins With Young Entrepreneurs

The top five websites all young entrepreneurs should visit

August 5, 2016

With its rich history and cultural diversity, Seattle’s Central District has been home to emerging businesses, innovators and artists — Jimi Hendrix and Bruce Lee, to name a few. Filmmakers Domonique Meeks and Matthew Jackson look at the Central District as a representation of how Seattle’s small businesses are faring economically and culturally. Their work is featured in the online docuseries Soul of Seattle.

The filmmakers say one of the biggest challenges the Central District faces is encouraging startups and youth entrepreneurship. Young entrepreneurs find themselves in daunting territory in the shadows of Seattle tech giants, which can discourage many from starting their own businesses. “If we do not evolve and we do not innovate then … you will be swept over,” says Meeks.

But, young entrepreneurs have an advantage over past generations. With just a few clicks, they can find a wealth of information at their fingertips, some of which we’ve curated below. If you crave more human interaction and social learning opportunities, be sure to attend this year’s Small Business Expo on August 11 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.

Top five websites all young entrepreneurs should visit

1. Small Business Association (SBA) Office website 

The Seattle branch of the SBA website is your one-stop shop for workshops tailored to your biggest questions. Local workshop topics include Starting a new business, Understanding financial statements and How to get money for your business. Their site also offers resources on local assistance, loans, grants and contracting.

2. The SBA Small Business Resource Guide

Looking for the ultimate guide to get your business successfully launched? The SBA’s comprehensive resource guide for starting your own business has you covered. It’s a lengthy 36 pages, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a question it can’t answer.

3. Business USA

If you’ve ever had to renew your passport or take a driving test, you’re probably familiar with the frustration of bureaucracy. Business USA claims to help small businesses take the headache out of dealing with federal bureaucracy. It is a helpful resource for navigating federal financing and regulations that may affect your business. There are also questionnaires that can help you shape up your business plan and find the best fit for government financing. 


Famed filmmaker and entrepreneur George Lucas says it best:
“Mentors have a way of seeing more of our faults that we would like. It's the only way we grow.”  
SCORE connects entrepreneurs with mentors who offer free advice to young startup business owners.  The nonprofit is backed by the SBA and has been helping young businesses get off the ground for over 50 years. In addition to their large network of volunteer business mentors, SCORE also hosts online webinars and local workshops, most of which are free or inexpensive. 

5. Black Dot

Black Dot provides a workspace, workshops and support for entrepreneurs of color. According to their website, Black Dot is a “culturally responsive community for Black entrepreneurs.” 
In addition to Black Dot, there are a variety of local organizations geared towards helping various minority groups. These include the  Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) and The National Association of Women Business Owners


Trennesia Jackson

Trennesia Jackson is a journalism graduate of the University of Washington. She has been a part of Spark Public (formerly What’s Good 206) since 2014. She has interned for both KIRO 7 Eyewitness News and KING 5 News and currently works for the UW’s online production The Daily’s Double Shot. Aside from writing Tre also enjoys playing basketball, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family.

More stories by Trennesia Jackson

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