Through the new FASTER WV Initiative, Advantage Valley and its partners are building a stronger culture of entrepreneurship, providing small business owners with access to markets, financing, and education.

Advantage Valley received a grant award of $930,000 from Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and $362,00 from the Benedum Foundation for its “FASTER WV” Initiative ~ Fostering Advantages for StartUps & Entrepreneurial Resurgence in West Virginia.

With Power Grant funding, the WV Small Business Development Center will hire a new “FASTER WV” business coach, a “start-up specialist” to work with budding entrepreneurs. Participants will be strongly encouraged to take entrepreneurship training classes, (short or long courses to build necessary business skills) either through BridgeValley Community and Technical College’s new Kauffman FastTrac Program or Unlimited Futures’ Planning for Profit Class. 

Unlimited Futures has hired another business start up coach with Power Grant funding to expand their capacity to assist new entrepreneurs.  Participants of the FASTER WV program will have access to a Revolving Loan Fund dedicated to the Advantage Valley region. Our goal is to facilitate start up or expansion of 50 businesses at the end of three years.