Bristol Bay salmon fishing regions                            Credit: ADF&G


Investment that comes from within, not from without, is the motivation behind a boot camp to jump start and nurture businesses throughout Bristol Bay.

Through September 15, local residents with good ideas, start-ups or existing businesses will compete via a simple application to attend a three day boot camp that provides in-depth business education, networking and advice.

“That is not a full business plan. It’s an application where you respond to six questions to see if your business concept has any legs. 2 Assistance all along the way, even if you want some feedback on your application.”

Doug Griffin is director of the Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference (SWAMC), a trade group that  represents the Bristol Bay region.

The 10 or 12 applicants who make the cut will go to the boot camp in mid-November. Three winners, judged on business feasibility and contributions to their community, will receive up to $20,000 for consulting and technical assistance.

The business boosters include the Bristol Bay Native Corporation, The Nature Conservancy of Alaska and the Bristol Bay Development Fund, a subsidiary of BBNC that is infusing $5 million of “nurture capital” into local businesses to benefit its nearly 10,000 shareholders.

The group has partnered with the Path to Prosperity (P2P) program by Spruce Roots, Inc., an arm of the Juneau-based Sealaska Native Corporation.

Over six years P2P has provided business training and mentoring to nearly 80 Southeast businesses.

It’s not too late to get a new RSW system for                           this season!

Coppa ice cream shop in Juneau, for example, went on to win top honors at the Symphony of Seafood and Barnacle Foods kelp salsa varieties are in stores throughout Alaska and nationwide. (Meet the 2019 P2P Finalists )

Path to Prosperity received the Silver Award for Excellence in Economic Development by the International Economic Development Council in 2015.

Dave Griffin says it’s all about sustainability of communities.   

 “It’s also an idea to show entrepreneurial spirit in a community. If you see a small business startup and it’s successful, it gives something for the next generation coming up to say, if I want to stay in my community where jobs are so limited, I might have to make my own job by starting my own business. something that you own yourself and can take pride in. it’s kind of the American way to be a small businessperson doing well.”

Find the P2P application and more information online at