Helping people with limited incomes start and sustain small businesses.

Commercial Kitchen Survey

Enterprise for Equity is grateful for the opportunity to use QuestionPro to launch our South Sound Commercial Kitchen User Survey. The survey results will help us understand the potential need for a large commercial kitchen facility and explore programs and initiatives to better assist the people we serve and others who want to launch and grow their food-based enterprises. Our South Sound Commercial Kitchen User Survey can be found here:

News & Announcements

Connecting with Customers presented by Ned Hayes

March 24, 2015 6-8 PM
Drop-in’s WELCOME!

Connecting with Customers: This hands-on workshop, presented by Olympia entrepreneur Ned Hayes, will offer you a powerful opportunity to work with a brand expert who has created, marketed and distributed many products. If you are a business owner/operator with a product or a service and you are trying to find and develop customers, this is the workshop for you!

Topics to be covered:

Who is your customer? How to identify your target market.

Who is not your customer? The ideas you have about your target market might be wrong, and here’s why.

Finding a fit. Fit your product/service with the correct customers.

Connecting with customers. What information is essential to your customers? Which pieces of information are only essential to you? How do you tell the difference?

Telling your story. Everything has a brand, even something as simple as housecleaning, lawn mowing, or beeswax candles. Your brand is the story that people will tell later about your product or service. How do you tell this story upfront, and ensure that your product or service lives up to the story?

Following through on customer connections. Once you make that first connection, how do you follow through to nurture your relationship with your customers?

Presenter/Entrepreneur Ned Hayes has been a product manager and marketing manager for Adobe Systems, Vulcan Labs, and Xerox PARC. He now manages a product team at Intel. He is also now the co-founder of several small startup companies and got his start as a street vendor at Pike Place Market counting change to make his rent. He is an author and public speaker who believes in nurturing and supporting local businesses.

Tuesday, March 24th, 6-8PM

Enterprise for Equity Classroom
212 Union Ave SE suite 101
Olympia, WA 98501

$10.00 Enterprise for Equity graduates, $30.00 general public
cash or check payable to Enterprise for Equity

Enterprise for Equity in the News!

A big thank you to Maury Forman and the Washington State Department of Commerce for their thoughtful mention of our 15th Anniversary Reception at the Governor’s Mansion in November in the most recent “Choose Washington” blog-BSD Community Update.

More than 170 Community Partners and Friends Celebrated Enterprise for Equity’s  15th Anniversary at the Governor’s mansion last month. Entrepreneurs shared  their stories of being in business and Gifford Pinchot III gave wise words on the power of entrepreneurship to change lives and the world. Congratulations to Lisa Smith and her team in helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams for a decade and a half.”

Read more here

Financial Education OLYMPIA April 2015



Community Wealth Building-Community Forum March 17, 2015

Community Wealth Building: What is it & Why is it so important?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 South Puget Sound Community College Student Union Building (SUB)
Refreshments: 6:00-6:45 pm
Presentation: 7:00-9:00 pm
Tickets: $15 per person


Presented in collaboration with The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound, Thurston Asset Building Coalition, Northwest Cooperative Development Center and the Thurston County Economic Development Council and Enterprise for Equity.

This forum will ask, “What can be done?”

Community wealth building addresses some of the essential elements of a more just, equitable and sustainable system.

Community Wealth Building refers to local talent, capacity and institutions, rebuilding capital to strengthen and create locally-owned family and community-owned businesses.

This event will feature special guest Ted Howard, co-founder and Executive Director of The Democracy Collaborative, a national nonprofit research insitution dedicated to developing new ways to build community wealth and stronger local economies. Please visit for more information.Ted Howard

Tickets available here:

For more information about The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound, please visit:


Many low-income working individuals and families qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which you can find out more about on our Whom We Serve page.

“Enterprise for Equity provided me with the support I needed to find a way to fit into the work force. My ideas and organization skills were recognized as strengths and the interactions with others broke up the routine pattern of isolation I sometimes get in.”

“I have had struggles with DSHS about self-employment as a viable option for getting off welfare, but many of the skills I learned in class gave me the resource base necessary to demonstrate my business could successfully meet requirements for getting my family off welfare.”

Enterprise for Equity Graduate