Encouraging crowd funding to spur economic growth in our region, the fourth Greenbrier Valley Entrepreneur’s Cafe (GVEC) is set for Feb. 18, when five contestants will vie for seed money at the Greenbrier County Public Library.
With a $10 donation, each crowd member will receive a delicious meal and a ballot to vote for the best five-minute presentation from each of the businesses competing. The dinner starts at 5:30 p.m. and is sponsored by Sam’s Club. The business presentation receiving the most votes will collect all of the donated funds. Thus far over $4,000 has been distributed to entrepreneurs.
The current contenders include Meredith Young’s business involving recycled aluminum jewelry. Young requires funding for manufacturing molds. The When Pigs Fly Bar-B-Que needs an industrial size steam cooker to process their sauces to be sold. New World Alterations requires funding for needs to offer embroidery services. The Dirt Bean Ohana Cafe and Bike Shop in Marlinton needs funding to replace equipment lost in a fire. The Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company needs funding for its marketing and product design.
Katie Ickes of GVEC explained to the Lewisburg Rotary Club last month how important small business is to local economies and why we need programs like GVEC. “We need small businesses, and entrepreneurs must be encouraged to step forward and become small business owners,” said Ickes. “In order for areas to break the generational cycle of poverty and perhaps drug abuse, which hinders small business development and success, we need extra motivational and educational programs to exist,” she added. Small businesses create employment opportunities and the revenue from these businesses usually stays in the local economy.
There have been free workshops offered on business planning and more information about workshops and the GVEC is available. Contact Katie Ickes at or 304-667-7027.
The Cafe will be moderated by Jill Holliday, entrepreneur instructional specialist with New River Community and Technical College (NRCTC). You may also register in advance to attend the current event at www.gvecafe.com. In the event of NRCTC being closed on Feb. 18 because of inclement weather, the event will take place on the following Tuesday, Feb. 25.
The GVEC is sponsored by the partnership of New River Community and Technical College, Greater Greenbrier Valley Chamber of Commerce and Greenbrier Valley Economic Development.