Last Thursday marked graduation day for the King County Commerce team’s first cohort of this year’s Pathways out of Poverty, Small Business Ownership Opportunity, class. They had an amazing time at the Kent Library celebrating 8 graduates and their business plans and ideas. Each participant and instructor had the chance to share what they have been working on, their current progress, and their ultimate dreams for owning a business. Participants ideas included plans for sustainable agriculture and farming, a Pho business, a family style bakery, a peer support specialist business, an in-home care facility, low-sodium spices and rubs, a bed and breakfast, and a Samoan/Islander specialty shop.
Each participant created a display board and presentation to share their business idea with Career Path Services’ staff members and invited guests. The importance of the event to the students was evident in whom they invited. Nearly 30 guests attended the event including Career Path Services staff, case managers from DSHS, housing specialists, peer support community members, and many family members. One graduate even had 4 Generations represented at the event: herself, her mom, daughters, and granddaughter. One of the guests, a case manager, mentioned that the event was “inspiring” and something she definitely would not forget.
Two of our participants (with the low sodium spice rubs and family bakery) brought samples of their products including lemon meringue pie and short ribs.
Staff walked away from the event incredibly moved by the participants and their dedication to the class. Practitioners and other staff poured many hours into this class to achieve such an outcome. At the conclusion of the event, participants were awarded a certificate of completion and were celebrated by all guests.
Follow ups with each participant on their business licenses will take place over the next two weeks. The next cohort begins on February 7th, 2019. Thank you to everyone for their efforts in making this class a reality!
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