The Port of Seattle’s first-ever PortGen Accelerator is an intensive two-month business development program for women and minority-owned small businesses. Businesses accepted into this inaugural cohort will access mentorship and programming from the Seattle entrepreneurship community and increase their contracting opportunities from the Port.
Application information: Apply by May 15, 2021.
AHANA is a non-profit organization that supports and promotes Inland Northwest multi-ethnic and multi-cultural businesses and their communities.
Minority Business Development Agency (Tacoma Business Center)
MBDA-Tacoma Business Center provides technical, strategic, marketing and planning services, and business consulting to minority-owned businesses throughout the Puget Sound area.
Technical Assistance from Trusted Community Messengers (Washington State Department of Commerce)
Culturally and linguistically relevant assistance for business owners and organizations affected by COVID-19.
The Urban League provides support, services, programming, and opportunities through five pillars of focus: Education, Housing, Workforce, Health, and Policy & Civic Engagement.
Washington SBDC (at OneRedmond) The Washington SBDC located at OneRedmond provides no-cost, one-on-one confidential advising to small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Financing - OPEN Opportunities
Amber Grant for Women
WomensNet gives away up to $10,000 every month in the form of grants. The grant is aimed at women entrepreneurs.
A regional nonprofit CDFI that provides loans to businesses and people. Craft3 tends to lend to established nonprofits and growing and startup businesses, including those that don’t qualify for traditional loans.
Bid Opportunities (Tabor 100)
Tabor 100 provides bid opportunities within greater Seattle.
King County Small Contractor and Supplier Certification (King County)
Regional and Local Bid Opportunities (MBDA-Tacoma Business Center)
This site features general bid opportunities that are both regional and local. Contact bid holder or project manager for the most up-to-date information.
Contracting Assistance Programs (U.S. Small Business Administration)
Did you know the federal government aims to award 23% of all federal contracting dollars to small businesses? Consider becoming a federal government contractor.
Washington State Office of Minority & Women’s Business Enterprises (Washington State)
The Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE) is the sole certifying entity of minority and women owned businesses for the state of Washington. The office provides state and federal certifications that are needed to do business with state or federal government. OMWBE exists to fulfill its mission to educate and empower small and disadvantaged businesses in small business and procurement opportunities.
- Certification: State certified firms are eligible to participate in contracting opportunities with state and local governments. Some private sector companies recognize and use OMWBE’s state certified firms for their supplier diversity goals.
- Directory of Certified Firms: Locate and notify certified firms of upcoming procurement and contracting opportunities.
- Linked Deposit Program: Any firm currently certified by OMWBE can enroll in the program to get access to capital with an interest rate reduction up to two percent (2%).
Washington State Department of Enterprise Services (Washington State)
Enterprise Services develops and oversees about 1,000 Washington state contracts for various goods and services. The department offers thousands of vendors and contractors access to open and competitive business opportunities to achieve the best results for state agencies, cities, counties and non-profit organizations. A Social Security Number (SSN) is not needed to do business with the state of Washington. Instead of an SSN,, a vendor can obtain a federal employer identification number (EIN). Download the statewide vendor registration form, which allows vendors to do business with Washington, here.
Washington’s Electronic Business Solution (Washington State)
WEBS is an internet-based bid notification system that many state agencies and educational institutions use to notify businesses of opportunities.
Using City-funded and public/private partnership projects, the Priority Hire Program prioritizes the hiring of residents that live in economically distressed areas, particularly in Seattle and King County. In addition, City projects and public/private partnership projects have apprentice utilization requirements and women and people of color aspirational goals.
Priority Hire (King County)
King County’s Priority Hire Program is a workforce and economic development strategy that provides training and family wage employment opportunities in the construction industry on King County public works construction projects of $5 million or more. The Priority Hire program provides access for persons interested in pursuing career opportunities in the construction industry who reside in economically distressed areas of King County.
Technology, Advertising, Marketing, & Other Business Services
RISE provides marketing, creative, media, and technology services to Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned small businesses. All BIPOC small business owners are eligible to apply. A grant opportunity will be announced in 2021.
Training and Coaching
Ascent (U.S. Small Business Administration)
A free learning platform for women entrepreneurs.
Certify.SBA.gov (U.S. Small Business Administration)
The Federal Government is the largest buyer of products and services in the U.S. The SBA offers various programs to help small businesses compete for federal contracts.
Washington Women’s Business Center (Business Impact NW)