Rural Alaska business competition expands

by Angela Denning-Barnes on July 29, 2011

The Alaska Federation of Natives’ 5th Alaska Marketplace Competition is featuring a new essay component, allowing more cash awards to be given out. The deadline for applying to the competition is August 1.

The Alaska Marketplace funds innovative business plans in rural Alaska. Several Y-K Delta residents have won in past years, with awards ranging from five to 50,000 dollars.

Applicants go through a few stages of the competition. The first round names the finalists from the most promising business or non-profit Plans. They receive entrepreneurial training and coaching to refine their concepts. All finalists will then travel to Anchorage to present their ideas to a panel of judges on October 19.

This year, there is also an essay component. Essay writers will compete for one of six $1,000 awards, as well as a $5,000 grand prize for the top essay and $2,500 for the overall first runner up.
All business plans or models must address the competition theme, which is “Planting Seeds of Change” through one of the sub-themes:
-Emerging Technology
-Education & Development
-Health & Well-Being
-Land, Natural Resources & the Environment
-Youth & Children

Essay writers have one additional theme they can address which is:
Native Rights Protection & Legal Empowerment

All winners will be announced on October 20, 2011.

For more information or to get an application, go online at alaskamarketplace.org or by calling AFN at 907-274-3611.

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