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February 17, 2022  |  Volume 7, Issue 7
Celebrating Appalachia's Entrepreneurs 🎉
Over the last four years, ARC invested $118.4 million in projects and partners helping entrepreneurs access capital, business coaching, incubation space, and more. 

In honor of National Entrepreneurship Week, we're highlighting entrepreneurial thinkers and doers who are building strong entrepreneurial ecosystems in Appalachian communities.

Take some time to learn about their impact and work.
Appalachian Community Capital: Providing Underserved Communities with New Sources of Capital

Appalachian Community Capital (ACC) is a non-profit community development financial institution (or CDFI) that is focused on providing business development support and attracting new sources of capital for small businesses, including minority and women-owned business owners, in underserved Appalachian communities. ACC recently received a $1.5 million POWER grant to expand its Opportunity Appalachia Program, which helps bring investment into Central Appalachian communities in Tennessee, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. 
Read the story about ACC's work connecting underserved small-business owners with capital, and watch the recent launch webinar for an expanded second phase of Opportunity Appalachia to learn more about the opportunity to obtain technical assistance for real estate development projects that move communities forward.
Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs: Supporting Businesses of All Backgrounds

For over 20 years, Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE) has empowered entrepreneurship in Appalachian Georgia through small business loans to candidates who might otherwise be overlooked. ACE’s founder, Grace Fricks, is a former social worker, who made it the organization’s mission to target support to women, people of color and low-to-moderate income business owners.

Read ACE's story to learn more about their critical work supporting underserved entrepreneurs and small business owners. 
The Power of Partnerships & Education in Entrepreneurship
ARC experts presented during two National Entrepreneurship Week panels yesterday, February 16, to share ARC resources promoting entrepreneurship education and the entrepreneurial ecosystem. On both panels, representatives from ARC and other federal government agencies expressed the importance of a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem to support the next generation of entrepreneurial innovators and leaders.

In order to equip aspiring entrepreneurs with the skills needed for entrepreneurial success, ARC is currently recruiting for our Appalachian STEM Academy and Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy summer opportunities. Applications for both opportunities are due by March 4, 2022.
Join ARC for a Virtual Tour of Investments in Action!
ARC is hitting the road and we want you to join us! Building on the reveal of our new 2022-2026 strategic plan, the Appalachia Envisioned Roadshow is a virtual event series showcasing communities, local voices, challenges, and success strategies from all 13 Appalachian states as they bring ARC's investment priorities to life. 

First stop 📍 Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania on Tuesday, March 1.

Register now to hear from community members and economic development experts who are creating and expanding Appalachian workforce ecosystems. ARC's 2022 States' Co-Chair Governor Larry Hogan will also speak with ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin about what's strengthening the workforce in his state. 
Supporting Entrepreneurs in Appalachia

Startup Alleghenies: Empowering the Cycle of Entrepreneurship

Start-up Alleghenies improves entrepreneurial access to capital, leverages new private investments, broadens technical assistance, and engages entrepreneurial coaches to help guide entrepreneurs and small business owners toward meeting their financial goals and giving back to their communities. Read and watch the story to learn more about the invaluable support Startup Alleghenies offers Appalachian entrepreneurs.

SWEEP: Training West Virginia’s Entrepreneurs

The Simulated Workplace Entrepreneurship Education Pathway (SWEEP) program is an entrepreneurial training initiative for high school students to develop the skills they need to find success in their own communities.

INSPIRE Initiative Accepting Proposals From Recovery-to-Work Programs
ARC has issued a Request for Proposals for our INvestments Supporting Partnerships in Recovery Ecosystems (INSPIRE) Initiative. This year, ARC is investing $10 million in recovery-to-work efforts in Appalachia.

Learn more about what makes a well-rounded application at the INSPIRE Pre-Application Workshop on February 24, 2022. 

Letters of Intent to apply are due March 3, 2022 and final applications are due March 24, 2022.

INSPIRE 2022 Pre-Application Workshop
February 24, 2022

Stop 1: Appalachia Envisioned Roadshow - Building Workforce Ecosystems
March 1, 2022

Mini SOAR Summit
March 7-8, 2022

2021 Outdoor Economy Conference: Stewards of Opportunity
April 4-7, 2022

All Events

Are you hosting a webinar or event involving Appalachian community and economic development? Let us know at and we'll add it here.

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