BY DAN TAYLOR, ENERGIZING ENTREPRENEURIAL COMMUNITIES PROGRAM COORDINATOR, THE HUB
2018 was a big year for the Energizing Entrepreneurial Communities community-based coaching program here at The Hub.
At our September all-team meet up in Charleston, attended by groups from Grafton, Madison-Danville, Lincoln and Wyoming Counties, we announced a new mini grant opportunity. We are offering up to $6,000 for each community team to work on projects supporting the growth of local entrepreneurship opportunities.
Groups taking advantage of this opportunity will work on projects like:
- A promotional video highlighting local sites and business, as well as Taylor County at large, as well as a youth business pitch contest from the Grafton team
- A local, small business directory and promotional logo, as well as a downtown small business festival and youth entrepreneurship opportunities for a float event on the Little Coal River this spring from the Madison-Danville team
- Trainings and support for local artisans to better utilize online sales via Etsy, as well as small business meet ups throughout the county and a entrepreneurship fair for youth at the Big Ugly Community Center from the Lincoln County team
We’ve also been continuing workshops and trainings for local entrepreneurs.
As successful business owners get older and near retirement, how do communities ensure they do not lose vital services and retain these businesses? How do we better facilitate opportunities for younger people who might want to purchase a business in order to stay in their community? We partnered with BB&T Bank’s Community Reinvestment program on business retention and succession planning” workshops, which will continuing into 2019.
We’ve also partnered with the Hamlin Public Library in Lincoln County for a “Lunch and Learn” series, with workshops in 2018 on Legal Support for Small Business, in partnership with Legal Aid of West Virginia’s “Community Economic Development program” and Using Google for Business, with workshops coming up in 2019 on using YouTube and more.
We are looking forward to 2019, the final year of this program, to get these mini grant projects completed in the first half of the year, as well as whatever else may lay in store.
Entrepreneurship is on the move in West Virginia, and we are happy to be in support of communities making this happen.