A fashion designer takes a call from a client.

Microenterprise Assistance


Microbusinesses employ between one and five people, including the business’ owner. Roughly 85% of businesses in Washington State are microenterprises and they employ more than 600,000 workers. Across the country, approximately 92% of businesses tracked by the census are microbusinesses.

The vast majority of these microenterprise businesses are owned by entrepreneurs who are people of color, immigrants, women, veterans, members of tribal or LGBTQ communities, have disabilities or live in rural parts of the state. These populations face significant barriers to business success due to lack of financing, training and other business support resources.

Working closely with Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs) across the state, Commerce and the Washington State Microenterprise Association work together to strengthen communities and create living-wage jobs by providing access to capital, education and technical assistance.

Through these partnerships with local and regional MDOs, the state gives these microbusinesses the chance to increase the earning potential of owners and employees alike while seizing new economic opportunities through innovation and creativity.

The focus of this program is on:

Capacity Building through technical assistance, the sharing of best practices and other strategies to increase capacity and improve operational efficiencies.

Resource Coordination through a network of MDOs who serve businesses in specific regions and locales throughout Washington State.

Grant Opportunities for local MDOs so they can expand their service offerings, such as microenterprise training, technical assistance, one-on-one business consulting and access to capital through nontraditional sources.

Networking via meetings, conferences and other events to help MDOs and microbusiness advocates collaborate more effectively with business, economic development and finance partners.

Learn more about the ways we strengthen the organizations that help entrepreneurs, especially those who have been marginalized, build capacity and succeed.

Our Partner

The Washington State Microenterprise Association is an independent, non-profit organization that supports microbusinesses throughout the state through technical support, networking, and advocacy. Its mission is to strengthen economic development systems that support the growth and effective microenterprise development organizations through access to capital and micro-lending, job creation, business creation and expansion support, and self-employment education and assistance, among other methods.