Bristol Bay Marketplace Selects Entrepreneurs

Alaska Growth Capital has selected five recipients as the initial winners of the newly established Bristol Bay Marketplace Competition.

Developed in tandem by the Pebble Limited Partnership and the Pebble Fund, each of which contributed $250,000 to the program, the contest is designed to foster small business development in the Bristol Bay region. The competition, available to all Bristol Bay residents, encourages area entrepreneurs to compete for funding to develop, maintain or expand locally owned and locally based businesses.

Alaska Growth Capital, which runs the program directly, offered workshops throughout the competition, May through September, providing candidates one-on-one consultation and assistance to develop a wide variety of new business ideas. As part of the competition process, which included 13 final applications, participants were required to compile a business plan for review by a panel of business leaders from Alaska Growth Capital. Applicants were scored via a point system and a set criteria base that included creativity, viability, financial stability and business longevity. The 2011 program awarded $225,000 in total funds with award allotments ranging from $25,000 - $50,000.

“With an emphasis on vision, it is particularly exciting to assess what residents see as important to the future economic sustainability of their community,” says John Shively, CEO of the Pebble Limited Partnership.

Winners of the competition will attend a workshop in mid-October, sponsored by Alaska Growth Capital, offering training in areas including business accounting, taxes, finance, marketing and technology. Workshop instructors include previous participants of the North Slope Marketplace and other business professionals. Alaska Growth Capital will continue to play a pivotal mentoring role to competition winners throughout all stages of the program.

The following entrepreneurs have been recognized as part of the 2011 Bristol Bay Marketplace Competition:

  1. Aleknagik Construction, Aleknagik, $47,500
  2. Bayview Auto Service, LLC, Togiak, $48,000
  3. Belleque Family Farm, Dillingham, $33,500
  4. Leader Creek Rentals, King Salmon, $48,000
  5. Ugashik Wild Salmon Company, Ugashik, $33,500

The next Bristol Bay Marketplace Competition is scheduled for spring 2012. For more information regarding winning application for the inaugural 2011 Bristol Bay Marketplace Competition and the 2012 program criteria contact: Chris Kolerok or Joan Kane, Alaska Growth Capital (907) 339-6782 or (907)602-7618, or via email at ckolerok@alaskagrowth.com or jkane@alaskagrowth.com.

The Bristol Bay Marketplace Competition is an extension of The Pebble Fund, a 5 year, $5 million dollar commitment established by The Pebble Limited Partnership to support sustainable development projects in Southwest Alaska. To date, the Pebble Fund has awarded more than $3.25 million in grant funds and has helped to leverage more than $9.8 million in matching grants and in-kind support in the region.

The Pebble Fund is administered and managed by The Alaska Community Foundation, awarding grants twice annually. For more information regarding the next Pebble Fund grant cycle, requirements and webinars, visit www.alaskacf.org or call 907-334-6700.

The Pebble Project is located in Southwest Alaska on state land designated for mineral exploration and development. It is situated approximately 1,000 feet above sea-level and 65 miles from tidewater on Cook Inlet. The Pebble Limited Partnership was established in July 2007 as a 50:50 partnership between a subsidiary of Anglo American plc and an affiliate of Northern Dynasty Minerals, Ltd.