Entrepreneurship and Business Development

Ohio

Athens

ACEnet: Building Ohio’s Hardwood Sector

Since 1985, the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet), based in Athens County Ohio, has held steadfast to its mission of growing the regional economy in 32 Appalachian Ohio counties by supporting entrepreneurs and local sector growth. With ARC support ARCnet operates the Food Venture Center in Athens, and Business…
Investment in Action
EdVenture Group's SWEEP Program in WV
West Virginia

Calhoun

Entrepreneurship Training SWEEPS Across West Virginia

“About 80% of West Virginia businesses have 20 or less employees,” said Alyssa Keedy, the Advanced Career Education Coordinator at the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE). Why is that the case? One reason is a disconnect between West Virginia workers and the skills needed by local employers. With many…
Investment in Action
West Virginia

Benefit U Built for West Virginia’s Entrepreneurs

From 2005 to 2015, 94% of the national job growth in the U.S. was in self-employed/independent contracting positions. The Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER)’s launched the Benefit U project in West Virginia, in partnership…
Investment in Action


Appalachia’s Hardwoods Branch Out

ARC investments in West Virginia’s hardwoods manufacturing sector allow for entrepreneurs to receive the support they need in producing/marketing hardwoods goods, and for the development of a hardwoods industry strategic plan.  In 2018 and 2019, ARC helped support entrepreneurs in the production and marketing of value-added hardwoods manufactured goods, the…
Investment in Action
Georgia

Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs Helps Small Businesses in Georgia During COVID-19

TJ Kaikobad and his wife, Danielle, of Cyra’s Simple Goodness Restaurant in Dalton, Georgia, recently received ACE’s Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year Award.Photo courtesy of Erik Voss With ARC support, Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs(ACE) in Cleveland, Georgia, is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) providing access to capital and business advisory…
Investment in Action
South Carolina

Spartanburg

Sparks Center SC: Launching local businesses

Since its conception in 2005, Sparks Center SC, located on the Spartanburg Community College Tyger River campus in Duncan, South Carolina, has specialized in business incubation, soft landings, workforce employment services, and special projects which assists in spurring economic development. Between 2009-2019, the Sparks Center has worked with over 100…
Investment in Action
West Virginia

Summers

Sprouting Farms: Growing West Virginia’s Local Food Economy

First conceptualized in 2014, Sprouting Farms’ mission is to help farmers realize economic opportunities in the New and Greenbrier River Valleys by accessing land and capital, building assets, and developing successful business plans. . 2016, with support via ARC’s POWER Initiative to diversify the Region’s coal-impacted communities, The New River…
Investment in Action
Children lining up near theatre
Virginia

Montgomery

Appalachian Community Capital: Investing in the Investors

Access to capital is one of the biggest obstacles to small business and entrepreneurial growth in Appalachia. In 2013, with seed money from ARC and other partners, Appalachian Community Capital (ACC) was founded to increase business lending opportunities and new sources of capital via community loan funds and Regional Community…
Investment in Action
Brick building repurposed from school into working kitchen
Virginia

Montgomery

New River Valley Regional Commission: New Vision in Prices Fork, Virginia

The New River Valley Regional Commission, a local development district in Appalachian Virginia, is using ARC support to renovate an unused school building in the rural Prices Fork area into a multi-use commercial and housing facility via a partnership with over 20 other public and private partners. The ARC funded…
Investment in Action
Man in blue polo works on computer
Tennessee

Hamilton

LaunchTN: Investing in Tennessee’s Entrepreneurs

LaunchTN —  a public-private partnership focusing on early-stage capital formation, market access, commercialization resources, talent development and retention for entrepreneurs across the state — has stood up eight Entrepreneurship Centers in Tennessee. With ARC support, three of these centers are dedicated to assist Appalachian entrepreneurs as they develop business plans,…
Investment in Action
Three individuals work on computers in office lobby
Ohio

Mahoning

The Youngstown Business Center: Ohio’s Additive Manufacturing Sector Blooms

Founded in 2001 in what was an abandoned furniture store in downtown Youngstown, Ohio, The Youngstown Business Center (YBI) has since grown into a sophisticated multi-building campus offering comprehensive services to Mahoning Valley’s entrepreneurial and added manufacturing business sectors. By 2015, YBI was recognized as the number one high impact…
Investment in Action
Maryland

Allegany

Allegany College of Maryland Manufacturing Training Program: Western Maryland Works

Western Maryland Works is a full-service makerspace, small-business incubator project that provides access to technology and equipment, and training facility focusing on machining, welding, and industrial maintenance. With ARC support, Western Maryland Works purchased state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing equipment such as computers, electronic classroom systems, general furnishings, equipment for wood working,…
Investment in Action


Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Appalachia

This research effort examines entrepreneurship in Appalachia through both quantitative and qualitative analysis. It includes a detailed overview of the components that tend to support vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems.
Report