Creating a culture of Entrepreneurism in the Greenbrier Valley is the goal of Katie C. Ickes, working with Greenbrier Valley Economic Development in conjunction with New River Community and Technical College. Ickes began work as Entrepreneur Program Coordinator with GVEDC recently to implement a faceted program to encourage entrepreneurism in the Greenbrier Valley
“The Greenbrier Valley is known as a center of creativity regarding the arts, but artists are not our only innovators. Through a five-prong approach, we plan to help grow our entrepreneur base by encouraging the development of visions into businesses through the Entrepreneur Café programs and resource facilitation and training. A crucial component of the program is for our youth starting in the 6th grade and continuing with the implementation of a pilot project for our high schools. Our middle school pilot program will be introduced this fall in partnership with Communities in the Schools. The high school pilot project will be launched at Greenbrier West second semester. These programs involve helping our youth develop a mindset for success whether it be to invent a product, open a business or pursue another career path. These programs have shown promise in breaking the cycle of poverty and drug use,” asserts Ickes.
The initiation of the Entrepreneur program with Greenbrier Valley Economic Development complements the expansion of its Local Foods Initiative, which involves supporting local farmers as entrepreneurs and helping to increase their profitability. “We are pleased to have Katie join our team. She has demonstrated her passion for economic development in our area with the contributions she made as the Executive Director of the Greater Greenbrier Chamber of Commerce and with her revitalization efforts in White Sulphur Springs earlier in her career,” stated Steven Weir, executive director of GVEDC.
Greenbrier Valley Economic Development will sponsor the next Entrepreneur Café on Sept. 19 at New River Community and Technical College, along with the other partnering organizations – Greater Greenbrier Chamber of Commerce and New River Community and Technical College. Applications to pitch your business idea or expansion project may be submitted at www.gvecafe.com. For more information, please contact Katie Ickes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-667-7027.