Last updated: October 11. 2013 9:17AM - 2502 Views
Rachel Baldwin rbaldwin@civitasmedia.com

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WILLIAMSON - Entrepreneurs can be defined as those who have the ability to envision opportunities creatively and structure resources effectively to meet needs in society that simultaneously benefit the customer, the enterprise, its employees, and the overall community. Entrepreneurs form new businesses and/or transform existing businesses. They are valuable assets in any community and can greatly enhance the local economy.

For these reasons, the Tug Valley Entrepreneurship Group was formed recently to promote entrepreneurship as an economic development strategy for our area. This group is conducting research on how other rural communities across the country are growing their local economies by supporting and encouraging entrepreneurs. This research is being used to help create an economic development strategy for our area.

To date, the group has defined its mission and a four-year vision, focusing on three areas of perceived need: fostering an entrepreneurial spirit in our community, creating a one-stop shop to actively support local entrepreneurs, and attracting new business ventures to our area.

The mission of the Tug Valley Entrepreneurship Group seeks the prosperity of our area by fostering an entrepreneurial spirit in our citizens, by encouraging and supporting our existing entrepreneurs, and by stimulating new business ventures in our region proactively.

The vision for the group is by July of 2017, to have a coordinated network of stakeholders that will be fostering an entrepreneurial spirit in our community; a one-stop-shop that will be actively supporting our area entrepreneurs, and new businesses that will begin to flourish in diverse fields including integrated energy sources, health and wellness, recreation, tourism, service industries, agriculture, sustainability, and the arts.

Currently, organizations and individuals represented in the initiative include Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, the Williamson Redevelopment Authority, Sustainable Williamson, the Mingo County Diabetes Coalition, the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority, the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Mingo County Schools, the Hatfield-McCoy Trails, and local area businesses and entrepreneurs.

The newly formed group has been meeting monthly at the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority offices.

If you would like to participate in the group’s efforts to achieve the four-year vision as outlined above, please contact Bruce Curry, Program Manager for Community and Leadership Development, at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College by calling 304-896-7371, or email him at bruce.curry@southernwv.edu.

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