Supporting Entrepreneurs of Color

We are committed to helping people of color, start and grow businesses.  We offer assistance to everyone, but we have developed some specific programs and services to help these groups successfully launch and develop their businesses.

Islamic Finance Network
We are one of a group of organizations that are interested in supporting Muslim business owners. Community lenders and business assistance organizations have been meeting with members of our local Muslim communities to talk about the riba-free (interest free) financing options for this community and how the existing options meet the needs of the communities.  Look for upcoming programs or contact us for ways you might get involved. 

Business Clinics
We are working with the Ethnic Business Coalition on a series of business clinics.  Look for upcoming programs or contact us for ways you can get involved. 

City of Seattle Contracting
For two years, we have collaborated with the Seattle Department of Transportation’s Office of Equity and Economic Inclusion have put together hands-on workshops in Spanish to help people sign up to get contracts with the city of Seattle.  Look for upcoming programs in our business calendar of events.

Supporting the Vietnamese Business Community
We work with Friends of Little Saigon, Office of Economic Development, Hing Hay Coworks, and Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development (SCIDpda) to offer assistance to businesses in the Little Saigon neighborhood.  Contact us for ways to get involved. 

Business Information Appointments
The best way we help is in our one-on-one assistance.  Librarians will help you find market research and can connect you with other organizations that will help. 

Tech Business

We have hosted Startup Weekend EDU Seattle, Startup Week programs and others to help people successfully start businesses in the tech industry. Check our calendar of events for upcoming programs.

Food Business

Food businesses are popular, though tricky to pull off successfully.  We work with the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship and Office of Economic Development’s Restaurant Success program to produce programs that meet the specific needs of a food business.

Restaurant Success Orientation
The regulations and licenses around starting a food business can be tricky to navigate.  This program walks through each type of food business and helps you understand the requirements, fees and regulatory agencies that you’ll need to work with.

Food Biz Roadshow
People starting restaurants, food trucks, food carts and food product businesses have opportunity to meet the different government agencies who process and issue your permits and licenses. You’ll not only discover the list of regulators you need to talk to, this event also gives you an opportunity to meet them in person and strike up a conversation. Other food specific assistance organizations will also be on hand.

Small Food Business Entrepreneur Circle
This bi-monthly network meets to discuss all things small food business, including home-based and cottage food businesses, food processing, catering, food trucks and more. Topics include the licensing process, rules, regulations, marketing, finance, product testing, sales and cooperative support.

Nonprofit Business

Fundraising Databases
We offer the Foundation Directory and Grantstation for non-profit organizations that are searching for funding.  The Foundation Directory is an in-library use database only accessible on our computers in the Central Library. Grantstation is in-library use at any Library location.