Seattle Ascend 2020 will grow minority-owned, women-owned and inner city businesses in the clean tech and food manufacturing industry sectors though a combination of management education provided by the Consulting and Business Development Center at the University of Washington Foster School of Business, market access through development of business-to-business relationships provided by the NW Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council and the Seattle/King County EDC, and money to finance business growth from Craft3.


The Consulting and Business Development Center at UW Foster School of Business’s Business Growth Collaborative uses a cohort-based program to leverage resources and networks from the UW Foster School of Business to grow small to medium-sized companies in the Clean Tech and Food Manufacturing industries. This program will accelerate the growth of companies through management education leading to the development of strategic growth plans and the development of CEO-to-CEO networks that will open new business opportunities. During its first two decades of work the center has helped client companies generate $150 million in new revenue.

Craft3 is a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) lender with a mission to strengthen economic, ecological and family resilience in Pacific Northwest communities. Craft3 provides loans to businesses, nonprofits and individuals, including those without access to traditional financing. It complements financial resources with expertise, networks and other advocacy for clients. Since its inception, Craft3 has invested more than $423 million in more than 5,000 people and businesses in Oregon and Washington.

Founded in 1978, the Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council is a nonprofit organization linking minority business enterprises (MBEs) with major corporations and public agencies. Affiliated with the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the council provides certification, membership and subscription services to the Pacific Northwest and Mountain region, which includes Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Founded in 1971, the Economic Development Council of Seattle & King County (EDC) is the only public-private economic development partnership encompassing King County and its 39 cities. The EDC provides one-on-one confidential consulting services, free-of-charge, to individual businesses seeking to establish, expand or relocate to Seattle and King County.

Its mission is to expand and diversify the economy throughout King County by retaining and recruiting jobs, growing strong and sustainable industry clusters, and promoting global competitiveness for Washington State.

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