Frequently asked questions
What is WON?
Washington Opportunity Networks (WON) identifies gaps and opportunities in Washington’s small business financial ecosystem and catalyzes connections between small businesses, TA providers and investors, with a focus on strengthening pathways for entrepreneurs from communities furthest away from opportunity to access resources and capital.
What issues are small business in Washington facing?
BIPOC, rural, and women-owned small businesses– businesses that are furthest from opportunity–have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, making Washington’s advancement toward economic recovery more difficult.
These businesses often don’t qualify for existing funding like the Small Business Association, revolving loan funds, or even microloans. When they do qualify, there are often cultural or linguistic barriers to access.
What are the goals of WON?
Our goal is to decrease historic and systemic barriers to financial assistance and investment opportunities. WON will strengthen pathways for small business owners from communities across the state, from urban to rural, to access funding and supportive resources.
WON provides supportive connections and greater opportunities to access funding for small businesses, especially those furthest from opportunity so they have greater access to the resources they need to grow their business.
How does WON support small businesses furthest from opportunity?
WON identifies gaps and opportunities in Washington’s small business ecosystem and creates connections between small businesses, technical assistance providers, and investors, focusing on strengthening pathways to success for those small businesses furthest from opportunity.
From addressing cultural or linguistic barriers to support, to identifying new financial products, WON connects small businesses with the accessible and culturally appropriate network of resources they need to qualify for funding and support.