Fairweather Ski Works has been  awarded a $40,000 grant by The Nature Conservancy after winning its Path to Prosperity contest, which seeks to encourage entrepreneurs building businesses around sustainable use of natural resources in Southeast Alaska.

Path to Prosperity (P2P) aims to launch companies that will increase local employment, have a positive social and economic impact on their communities, promote the sustainable use of local natural resources, and increase entrepreneurial know-how and business leadership in Southeast Alaska.

“The P2P program provided us with invaluable resources to get our business headed in the right direction,” says Graham Kraft, a co-owner of Fairweather Ski Works, which is based in Haines, AK.

Also awarded $40,000 was Port Chilkoot Disterllery, also based in Haines.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of communities in Southeast Alaska,” says Norman Cohen of The Nature Conservancy. “Path to Prosperity is building a generation of entrepreneurs for whom the sustainable use of local natural resources is a defining tenet of their businesses. Today's winning entrepreneurs — and all 12 finalists — show how small business is helping to spark an economic resurgence in Southeast Alaska.”

Each of the winners receives an award package of up to $40,000 in seed funding for consulting and technical assistance to develop their business concept, along with support in finding investor funding.

Fairweather Ski Works builds one-of-a-kind, handcrafted skis and split boards specifically designed for the rigors of Alaska's big mountains and wild back country. Alaskan artists build the boards with locally and sustainably harvested forest products and feature artwork. Visit fairweatherskiworks.com.