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Entrepreneurship and Business Development

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Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Appalachia
Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Appalachia is a suite of research reports and resources to support entrepreneurial development in Appalachia, using both quantitative and qualitative analysis at both the macro and micro levels.

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Goal One of ARC's Five-Year Strategic Plan for Capitalizing on Appalachia's Opportunities, 2016-2020 is to invest in entrepreneurial and business development strategies that strengthen Appalachia's economy. This includes expanding entrepreneurial ecosystems and support for start-ups and existing businesses, enhancing the competitiveness of the Region's manufacturers, and promoting export strategies to connect startup and established businesses with external and global markets.
ARC supports a variety of activities to promote entrepreneurship and business development in the Appalachian Region, including:
  • Giving entrepreneurs greater access to capital, including support for microcredit programs, revolving loan funds, development venture capital funds and other creative financing models.
  • Educating and training entrepreneurs through youth education programs and adult training initiatives.
  • Encouraging sector-based strategies to maximize the economic strengths of local communities; and
  • Providing strategic support for business incubators, makerspaces, and other forms of technical assistance.

ARC also sponsors in ongoing research to support the Region's entrepreneurial ecosystems. For instance, Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Appalachia is a suite of three research reports and resources to support entrepreneurial development in Appalachia. This research, released in October 2018, includes three reports which outline core elements necessary for a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem, analyze community case studies to provide insight into the unique challenges faced by communities in Appalachia, and offer recommendations to support future economic development across the Region. A companion website at www.arc.gov/ecosystems documents and compares entrepreneurial activity in each of Appalachia's 420 counties, and includes a working inventory of over 1,000 support services available to entrepreneurs across the Region.

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Report Series
1. Literature Review (PDF: 1.6 MB)

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Find data and resources about Appalachia's entrepreneurial ecosystems.