Entrepreneurship and Business Development


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

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 services to small business owners in a 15 county region of Northwest Georgia. When the COVID crisis hit in March, ACE quickly offered payment deferments to existing loan clients,…

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…

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…
Children lining up near theatre

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…
Brick building repurposed from school into working kitchen

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…
Man in blue polo works on computer

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,…
Three individuals work on computers in office lobby

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…

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,…

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.