Startup Shenandoah Valley Program Provides Assistance for Businesses

 

The Staunton Creative Community Fund offers different activities and programs for small businesses and entrepreneurs.  It is now accepting applications for its Startup Shenandoah Valley program, or S2V, a region wide business accelerator.

Ryan Hall is an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Builder at Staunton Creative Community Fund.

“When you think about every small business or every business, period, out there it always started with an entrepreneur who had an idea,” says Hall.  “Whether it’s a local store on your main street or, you know, General Motors or Amazon, there was somebody who had an idea and tried to make that dream happen.  We know that there are people like that in the Shenandoah Valley and our mission is to help those people succeed and grow those businesses right here.”

For those accepted to participate in Startup Shenandoah Valley, there is no charge and no equity requirements.   The program is funded by a GoVirginia grant.  The application deadline for Startup Shenandoah Valley is April 9th.

“What we’re looking for are businesses that are ready to grow and they just need some assistance in getting over some hurdles or mitigating risks,” says Hall.  “So for eight weeks, we will work with a team of coaches who will help you identify those risky parts of your business model, those challenges that you might have and come up with plans or experiments on how to avoid those risks or reduce those risks. During that time, we’ll also match you with a mentor so that they can help guide you through the process and hopefully you build some long-term relationships, so even after our program you have a connection that you can link up with and ask advice from.  We also do some team activities where the entire group of people in the program will come together.  All of our programs, we want to have that long-term support so that we build an ecosystem or a network of these small businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the valley for support.”

In addition to Startup Shenandoah Valley, the non-profit Staunton Creative Community Fund has other programs and holds classes and workshops, offers some financing and loan options and provides support by connecting business owners with the resources they need.  The Staunton Creative Community Fund covers four independent cities and ten counties in the Shenandoah Valley, including Bath and Highland.

“We are really looking to help anyone who has a dream, or an idea, or even an existing business,” says Hall.  “We don’t necessarily want anyone to feel like they’re not a good fit for us.  We want to talk to anyone that wants to move into business.”

For more information on the Staunton Creative Community Fund and its programs, including Startup Shenandoah Valley, visit www.stauntonfund.org or call 540-213-0333.

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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