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Potential business owners have chance to win $10,000

Wes Bunch • Jun 5, 2013 at 9:57 PM

WISE — Potential business owners in seven Southwest Virginia counties will have the opportunity to win up to $10,000 in investment funding in the Entrepreneur Challenge, presented by a regional economic steering committee.

Registration for the Entrepreneur Challenge began this week and runs through midnight on June 17. The event is sponsored by the My Southwest Virginia Opportunity Steering Committee, which produced the 2012 Blueprint for Entrepreneurial Growth and Economic Prosperity in Southwest Virginia.

Organizers of the challenge describe it as a competitive process designed for emerging entrepreneurs in the region, as well as for localities in far Southwest Virginia that are looking to expand their business base.

At least one potential entrepreneur will walk away from the challenge with $10,000 to invest in their business idea.

All totaled, there will be more than $30,000 in business investment grants that will be awarded to new and expanding entrepreneurial ventures located in Scott, Lee, Wise, Dickenson, Buchanan, Russell and Tazewell counties and the city of Norton.

According to UVa-Wise’s Brandi Hall, who serves as a spokesperson for the steering committee, the opportunity will provide participants with seven-months of business training, networking and mentorship.

“Each participant will develop a deeper understanding of planning for a successful business, be partnered with a mentor and have networking opportunities with other regional entrepreneurs,” Hall said.

Potential entrepreneurs will also participate in “pitch nights” held in communities throughout the seven-county area. Localities involved will also present tailored incentive packages aimed at attracting new businesses.

Once applications are received, Hall said a cohort ranging from 20 to 25 entrepreneurs will be selected to take part in the challenge.

For more information on the Entreprenuer Challenge, visit www.mySWVAopportunity.org or contact Hall at bhall@uvawise.edu or by calling (276) 889-8188.

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