enterprise challenge

Owner Stephen Malek and Basecamp Outfitters, 208 East First St. in Cle Elum, placed second in the 2021 Enterprise Challenge. 

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What started in an Airstream parked in a Roslyn yard helping adventure junkies gear up has grown into a fully fitted outdoor gear shop.

Basecamp Outfitters, 208 East First St. in Cle Elum, can now add 2021 Enterprise Challenge placer to its resume. The locally owned outdoor gear store that opened on Small Business Saturday in 2020 was recognized by the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce and the Yakima County Development Association for its business plan in the 2021 Enterprise Challenge.

Owner Stephen Malek and his operation placed second in the Enterprise Challenge and will receive $5,000, as well as business planning and vital operational information.

“I’m super excited about it because of the learning part. The biggest part I took away was the learning more about business. There’s been information on use of money for advertising and getting everything started with the Small Business Association loans,” he said. “Basecamp Outfitters is the business plan I presented. The strategy was to continue with the asecamp brand from Basecamp Books and Bites.

“We’ve owned Basecamp Books & Bites in Roslyn almost four years now. When we lost our indoor seating, we decided to take the leap with Basecamp in Cle Elum last year.”

According to the website, Basecamp has now grown into a fully fitted outdoor gear shop to get you ready for any adventure the PNW has to offer. It is family owned and operated with a passion for sharing the love for the outdoors.

“We proudly source sustainable and ethically made gear so you can feel good about getting out there,” Malek said.

In the final round of the competition, contestants gave a final presentation on their business plan to local community leaders at the Yakima County Development Association office. Their business plans were judged and scored to determine the top three businesses. 

Basecamp Outfitters, which focuses on the 10 essentials of hiking and provides local maps and guide books, made a lasting impression with contest judges.

Winners also receive one-year full subscriptions to LivePlan, a one-year membership to the Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce, and a one-year membership to the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce.

The biggest benefit participants get the counsel and support they need to get their businesses off to a strong start. The competition was designed to help all participants by offering in-depth business workshops and individualized counsel to help participants gain traction with their enterprise and learn what it takes to launch a successful business.

The operational assistance includes:

• Instruction on business planning, marketing, financing, technology, and related topics.

• Individual help sessions with experts in finance, marketing, law, and other business topics.

• Feedback on plans submitted by judges who have practical business experience.

• Opportunities to network and collaborate with other great entrepreneurs.

• Significant publicity for your business through local media and other channels.

The 2021 Enterprise Challenge winners include:

• First Place, winning $10,000: Sunnyside Meat Packers LLC, Yakima County.

• Second Place, winning $5,000: Basecamp Outfitters, Kittitas County.

• Third Place, winning $2,500: The Tap, Yakima County.

Rodney Harwood: award-winning journalist and columnist. Lover of golf and the written word. I can be reached at rharwood@kvnews.com

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