I just came across a press release that reminded me I’ve been meaning to give a big shout out to the SBA and their Emerging Leaders Initiative for a while now.
In 2013, the Small Business Administration invited me to take part in the Emerging Leaders Initiative. The program was outstanding. I had the pleasure of working with an excellent executive coach. Mary Marshall who was capable, considerate, and especially insightful.
The Emerging Leaders program is a chance for CEOs and other executives to step out of the day to day grind and work on their business. The subjects we talk about are wide ranging and critical to the success of every business. We covered finances, sales and marketing, human resources, government contracting, and more.
One of the great benefits is learning from the other students. Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely place. And then one day you sit down in a room with 15 other CEOs. They have had similar struggles that you have. They have different ways of looking at problems than you do. I came to look forward to
The Emerging Leaders program exposes you to resources you didn’t know exist. It turns out there are a lot of people out there ready to support you, and help you grow your business.
The one caveat is: “You get out what you put in.” For the program to be successful for you you have to dedicate a lot of time and energy to the materials. You have to be open to change. And more than anything you have to be ready to grow your business.
If you know of a small business owner that has grand visions for their business, I suggest they check out Emerging Leaders. The 2014 program starts soon. Don’t wait.
SustainableWorks selected A&R Solar an independent solar contractor for their SustainableSolar pilot program. SustainableWorks, is a local non-profit energy efficiency program and general contractor.
Homeowners that take part in the SustainableSolar program have access to low interest loans. SustainableWorks offers the loans in partnership with Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union.
The SustainableSolar loan product makes it easy to finance a solar project. The Solar Loans have accessible loan terms, no down payment, and you can finance up to $50,000.
What if you want to do energy efficiency project and a solar project? You can do both under a single Enhanced Solar Loan. SustainableWorks will perform the efficiency work, and we will do the solar work.
Energy efficiency and solar were born to go together. You can increase the impact of your solar by taking steps to make your home more efficient.
SustainableWorks also offers a Save Energy Today assessment and project. This one day energy saving program combines an energy assessment with immediate efficiency improvements. SustainableWorks techs start duct and air sealing, and install light bulbs while at your home. The Save Energy Today program is a $1200 value with only a $150 cost to the homeowner.
SustainableWorks is also a general contractor should your home need deeper energy efficiency upgrades. Their services include weatherization, heating, plumbing, and electrical. They can also provide access to program incentives, utility rebates, and project management services.
SunstainableSolar is a pilot project with only 60 spots for customers. Act now to take advantage of this great opportunity.
PSCCU / SustainableSolar Loan Terms:
- Maximum Loan: $50,000
- Minimum Loan: $1,000
- Term: Up to 180 months
- Minim Monthly Payment: $50/month
- Rates: 4.25%-8.74%
Want to know if you qualify? Contact us to find out more.
Demonstration Project at Liberty High School in Renton, WA
I got started in my solar career back in 2005. There wasn’t much of a solar industry at all, it was just getting started. Solar provided some homes in Washington “alternative energy” because there was no grid for them to connect to. For these few people hauling fuel to their cabin or island home was too difficult or expensive.
Even back then I made a conscious effort to talk about solar as a “renewable energy” not “alternative energy.” Why? Because I knew even then that solar energy would be a key component of any sustainable power mix in the future even here in Washington. Alternative Energy sounds fringe.
If you think about disruptive technologies, they do begin as an alternative for some people. But we don’t call cell phones “alternative phones” or cars “alternative transportation.” We call them what they are.
I am not alone in my efforts. Those of us that came to solar early on knew that part of our growth strategy had to include growing the industry to grow our companies. When you want to bring something like solar mainstream the last thing you want to do is call it “alternative.”
It may be obvious most of you, but the language you use holds power. The way we describe what we do primes our audience’s perception for good or bad. Words like alternative can taint someone in to thinking that solar is not ready for the mainstream. We don’t want people thinking solar is an untried technology. Nor do we want people to think there could be fundamental issues with the concepts behind the technology when there are not.
To borrow a quote “Alternative Medicine that works is called Medicine.” Solar is a proven solution to provide clean energy by using a free and renewable fuel source: the sun.
From time to time we get customers looking for a deal because their project will be a visible “demonstration project.” These deals stopped existing years ago because we know solar power works. The days of demonstration projects are over. We have hundreds of customers here in Washington who have been producing their own solar energy for years.
Solar energy is still a small mix of all energy produced, but that’s changing. In 2013, solar energy was the 2nd largest source of new power capacity in the US (or maybe 1st?) When the growth of solar outpaces coal, everything but Natural Gas should we still consider it an alternative?