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Daily Archive for November 21 2014

The lifeblood of a strong economy

Print“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”  – Theodore Roosevelt

Throughout Global Entrepreneurship Week, we’ve highlighted the efforts of three entrepreneurs working to make their dreams a reality in West Virginia.

After countless hours of hard work, these three – Jill Watkins, owner of Watkins Design Works; Nikki Bowman, owner of New South Media, and Alice Ruhnke, owner of The Grant Advantage, – took a leap of faith to launch a business that encompasses their passions and utilizes their skill set.

And it’s worked.

We understand that not all entrepreneurial endeavors will experience extreme success. The path of an entrepreneur is a tough one filled with risks and high costs. But that’s why we are here.

The Charleston Area Alliance is dedicated to serving the needs of businesses – both large and small – working in the Kanawha Valley region. Not only are we working to attract large employers to the area, but we’re also working to give our small businesses the tools they need to achieve a high level of success.

The Charleston Area Alliance’s small business programs include:

Small Business Incubator Program – This program is the perfect fit for start-ups and entrepreneurs in the Kanawha Valley region looking for affordable office or warehouse work space. Located on Smith Street in Charleston, the 70,000-square-foot-converted warehouse offers offices for rent in varying sizes as well as office amenities and business consulting.

To provide a one-stop shop for success in the incubator program, other helpful organizations located in the building include: the West Virginia Small Business Development Center, the Charleston chapter of SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives), the U.S. Department of Commerce Export Office and the Regional Contracting Assistance Center.

GROW – Designed to enhance the skills of entrepreneurs while simultaneously building an entrepreneurial ecosystem, GROW takes up to 20 entrepreneurs through a six month program to grow their businesses and build their networks. GROW participants receive a structured, stimulating environment founded in entrepreneur education, coaching and peer feedback.

SAGE – Sustainable Agriculture Entrepreneurs (SAGE) is a year-long program designed to teach participants how to grow sustainable produce in urban spaces and how to develop those growing efforts into household income. It takes growing to a new level by giving participants the knowledge and skills they need to make urban farming a viable entrepreneurial endeavor.

THRIVE – This crowd-funding initiative supports local entrepreneurs by giving them an infusion of seed capital in a fresh, inventive way. Held annually, THRIVE brings community members and business leaders together to act as investors for one night. Every attendee has the opportunity to hear the business pitch of the selected entrepreneurs who are chosen in a prior screening process. At the end of the night, one business will be chosen to receive the seed capital that will help them grow their business.

West Virginia Regional Technology Park – The Charleston Area Alliance continues its involvement at the “Tech Park” where unique equipment and facilities provide the type of entrepreneurial environment necessary for new start-up companies to commercialize their new technologies. Tenants  the park such as MATRIC, which also got its start at the Alliance, as well as the new “Chem-Ception” chemistry based incubator and the Advantage Valley Advanced Training Center, are pushing the Tech Park into the future.

Innovation is the driver of any strong economy and entrepreneurs are its lifeblood. At the Charleston Area Alliance, we are working to create an ecosystem that supports a community of innovative entrepreneurial pursuits through our programs, partners, and resources.

To learn more about these programs visit www.charlestonareaalliance.org or to speak with a representative contact us 304-340-4253.

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admin in Announcements,Events on November 21 2014 » 0 comments