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Avista to create “Business Entrepreneurship Network”

Friday, June 01, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kristina Moy
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Contact:
Avista 24/7 Media Access 509- 495-4174
Jessie Wuerst, 509-495-8578.
Jessie.wuerst@avistacorp.com

Avista to create "Business Entrepreneurship Network”

Entrepreneurship programs at regional community colleges will help create new businesses and jobs


Spokane, Wash. – May 24, 2012:
Avista today announced the creation of the Avista Business Entrepreneurship Network, which, in partnership with Spokane Community College (SCC) and up to four other regional community colleges, will provide a continuum of education and ongoing support for budding entrepreneurs in Avista’s service territory. This network leverages the successful curriculum established by the Avista Center for Entrepreneurship at SCC in 2007. To date, three additional community colleges have agreed to participate in the network and create entrepreneurship programs modeled after SCC, including Rogue Community College (Medford, Ore.), North Idaho College (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho), and Walla Walla Community College-Clarkston (Wash.).

"One of the best strategies for pulling out of the longest, deepest recession of our time is to enable broad-based innovation and entrepreneurship. That’s why we’re partnering with SCC to extend their unique entrepreneurship program to other colleges throughout the region we serve,” said Roger Woodworth, vice president and chief strategy officer for Avista. "The partnership created by the Avista Business Entrepreneurship Network will engage more people, leverage more resources, and accelerate quicker outcomes for greater impact in business development and job creation. Much like our investments to assure reliable energy delivery for our customers, this network is an investment in our region’s future prosperity.”

The Avista Center for Entrepreneurship at each participating college will receive an investment of $100,000 over three years to support the initial implementation of the program. These funds come from profits that Avista is allowed to earn and are not included in customer rates. Each college foundation will pledge matching dollars to help ensure the long-term financial sustainability of their respective program. SCC faculty will facilitate the curriculum development process with involvement from members of the Business Entrepreneurship Network.

In addition, Avista will create a micro-enterprise loan fund for students who successfully complete the program and create new businesses. Each college will also participate in recruiting a cadre of mentors, advisors and professional services providers who will provide ongoing business support. The SCC program is graduating its fifth cohort this June. The first classes in each of the other Avista Centers for Entrepreneurship are expected to begin in the fall of 2013.


About Avista
Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is our operating division that provides electric service to 360,000 customers and natural gas to 321,000 customers. Our service territory covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.5 million. Avista's primary, non-utility subsidiary is Ecova, an energy and sustainability management company with more than 500 multi-site commercial and utility customers, representing more than 450,000 sites. Our stock is traded under the ticker symbol "AVA." For more information about Avista, please visit www.avistacorp.com.

Avista Corp. and the Avista logo are trademarks of Avista Corporation.


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