AdvantageWest Economic Development Group Vice President Matthew Raker (left), with Chris Grasinger of Ascent Business Network in Boone, N.C., a training and technical assistance partner in the ScaleUp WNC program, provides assistance to entrepreneurs as they “scale up.” (Photo illustrations by AdvantageWest, made possible with help from Rock Dimensions, located at Footsloggers Outfitters in Boone.)

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Press release from AdvantageWest:

AdvantageWest Economic Development Group Vice President Matthew Raker (left), with Chris Grasinger of Ascent Business Network in Boone, N.C., a training and technical assistance partner in the ScaleUp WNC program, provides assistance to entrepreneurs as they ‘scale up.’ Photo illustration courtesy of AdvantageWest

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Successfully starting up a new business is one thing; scaling up that business is quite another.

Now a new initiative designed specifically for growth-oriented companies that are past the start-up phase, but before maturity, is available to Western North Carolina entrepreneurs. Called ScaleUp WNC, the program will offer a select group of small-business owners intensive training, one-on-one management support, assistance in connecting with growth capital and the opportunity to strengthen connections and networks.

Applications are now being accepted for the first ScaleUp WNC cohort, which begins in February. The deadline to apply is Jan. 15. Visit ScaleUpWNC.com for more information and to apply.

Fifteen founders or executive managers of growth-oriented small businesses will be selected through a competitive, merit-based application process for each ScaleUp WNC class. Businesses must be based in Western North Carolina, have annual revenues between $150,000 and $750,000, have at least one full-time employee, and have identified opportunities for business expansion.

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Six-week sessions will be offered twice a year for five years; in total, 150 Western North Carolina businesses with strong potential for growth and job creation will be selected to participate in this highly competitive program. There is no cost to participate in ScaleUp WNC, thanks to funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration, but companies chosen are expected to make a firm commitment of time to participate in the program.

AdvantageWest, the nonprofit economic development organization serving the 23 counties of Western North Carolina, was selected by the SBA as one of only eight organizations in the country to develop the project as part of SBA’s ScaleUp America initiative. Training and technical assistance partners include the Ascent Business Network, based in Boone, N.C., the Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Entrepreneurial Development Foundation, and the Cherokee, N.C.-based Sequoyah Fund.

Angie Newsome

Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at anewsome@carolinapublicpress.org.

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