Make an impact by sharing your skills
Volunteer with Us
Hundreds of volunteers play a key role in the success of our entrepreneurs every year. Empowering entrepreneurs starts with community support. Volunteers have amazing talents to contribute to our organization, and we do our best to match volunteers to customized opportunities at Ventures. We occasionally have one-time or specialized volunteer opportunities, but our greatest need for volunteers are for Business Basics Course Coaches and Retail Store Volunteers.
If you’re interested in volunteering with Ventures, get started by:
InnoVentures is a unique program that provides a chance for Ventures business owners from the food, product, and service sectors to pitch an innovation that will increase efficiency and grow sales for their business to a team of judges. Contestants work with coaches to refine their ideas and a guest panel judges will score the pitches over a series of events to determine winners. Winners will earn prizes and resources to expand their enterprises. To apply for either position, email firstname.lastname@example.org and submit your resume by Friday, December 20th, 2019.
The InnoVentures Pitch Coach is a unique opportunity to use coaching skills, paired with a passion to empower entrepreneurs to build their business. Specifically, coaches help contestants interpret and integrate the judges’ feedback into their pitches in a collaborative and judgment-free space for learning. We need a total of 4 English speaking coaches and 2 Spanish speaking coaches to fill this role. Learn more about the position in the full description.
Volunteering as an InnoVentures Interpreter is an opportunity to use your Spanish-language skills to empower entrepreneurs on stage. You will be expected to attend each event and provide on-the-spot, simultaneous interpretation for business pitches. Read more about this opportunity.
Coaches work alongside small groups of entrepreneurs in our 8-week Business Basics Course. Coaches help students become more familiar with the business concepts they learn in class and guide them in applying those concepts to their specific businesses and situations.
- Attend weekly classes.
- Work one-on-one and in small groups of entrepreneurs to apply concepts and lessons to their businesses.
- Participate in large group discussions and assist the instructor in explaining key business concepts as needed.
- Keep instructors informed of students’ progress.
- Coaches can only miss three of the ten sessions (the Orientation, 8-week Business Basics Course, and Graduation).
- Approximately 3 hours a week for an 8-week Business Development Training course.
- Class schedules vary quarterly but classes are generally held weekday evenings.
- Experience starting or growing your own business or basic knowledge of at least two key areas of small business development: sales, marketing, finance, and operations.
- Passion for Ventures’ mission and belief in the abilities and potential of Ventures entrepreneurs.
- Must be able to suspend judgment and listen deeply.
- Patience and understanding of the many personal and systemic barriers to business-ownership that our business owners encounter.
Retail Store Volunteer
Volunteer at one of Seattle’s most unique and inspiring gift stores! The Ventures Marketplace, Ventures’ retail store and business incubator in Pike Place Market, features locally made products hand-crafted by small business owners working to build or grow their businesses. Volunteers also receive a 10% discount at the store.
- Provide warm and welcoming customer service.
- Sell a wide variety of hand-crafted local merchandise, including jewelry, accessories, bath and body products, art, gift items, and much more.
- Tidy and straighten store displays, merchandise, overstock, and storage areas as needed.
- Work with Ventures staff on other special projects as needed.
- Volunteer shifts are available every day between 10:30 am and 6:00 pm.
- Shifts are usually 4-6 hours long. Most volunteers work at least one shift per week.
- Scheduling is flexible, but we ask for a commitment of at least 16 hours/month for three months.
- Previous customer service and/or retail experience is desired but not required.
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
- Interest in and enthusiasm for Ventures’ mission.
- Ability and desire to work in a fast-paced environment and perform a wide variety of tasks.