Shown are delegates to the first meeting of the Washington State Microenterprise Association, at Leavenworth Washington in September 2005.
In late 2004, a group of microenterprise practitioners organized a teleconference call to discuss the idea of forming a state wide network of
agencies and organizations serving micro enterprises. The first call was held on December 7, 2004. Eleven practitioners representing five
microenterprise development organizations participated in that call. Since then, there have been many more teleconferences and collaboration meetings. Participants in these discussions agreed there was a need for the formation of a state wide initiative to support micro entrepreneurship, advocate for strong policies, coordinate resources, and more. Washington State Microenterprise Association (a network of microenterprise organizations, professionals and advocates in Washington state) was created to fill these needs.
In October 2007, WSMA became an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Teresa Lemmons was hired as WSMA's Executive Director. Teresa Lemmons has owned her own business, holds a Masters in Community Economic Development and has worked in the microenterprise field for over 20 years. In the fall of 2008, WSMA moved to an office in Federal Way and hired a second staff member. Although WSMA is a relatively young organization, it is often highlighted by national professionals as a best-practice example of how to start a successful state microenterprise network/association.