Nicole Bassett is just the sort of entrepreneur the folks at Gorge Owned! had in mind when they cooked up their first Local Business Plan Competition to help celebrate Earth Day.
Bassett is an early entrant, but probably won’t be the only one by the time signups close April 3.
The competition is open to new and existing businesses, but the key thing is that they have to demonstrate a commitment to triple-bottom-line thinking — a balance of regard for the environment, the economy and the community.
Scale is key, as well. GO! is looking for entries from little guys, with annual revenues of less than $250,000.
Bassett, who consults on sustainability issues, is preparing to launch a new business called (re)make. It’s designed to help people who produce and market something take the used product back and recycle or re-use it.
“It’s like the operations in the used car business, where they buy them back, go through them, improve them for resale,” Bassett says. “(re)make is designed to serve brands that aren’t capturing the full value of their products.”
She’s hoping to first run a pilot project with interested companies. She’s focused first on clothing companies. “We’re responding to the fact that there’s a lot of value in textiles,” she says.
Bassett and other entrants in the competition will first submit business plans. A committee of local business experts will winnow the pile down to five finalists, who will make oral presentations from 6 to 8 p.m. April 23 at the Pint Shack (on Third) in Hood River.
This is where the rest of us come in. We get to listen, and select the top three candidates through a simple paper vote. The winning candidates will then be eligible to apply for a business loan up to $5,000 through GO!’s partners at the Kiva Zip program.
Kiva Zip is a not-for-profit micro enterprise lending program that pairs its funds with investment commitments generated by applicant businesses through the crowdfunding model.
Interested? Apply through a form at the GO! website.