Entrepreneurship and Small Business Growth
Entrepreneurship has a long tradition in Northwestern North Carolina. The majority of the regions major employers in tobacco and textiles, for example, were started by local entrepreneurs decades ago. It is this spirit of innovation and creativity that is being reinvigorated. Provided the proper tools, Surry Countys residents is rebuilding its employment base one company at a time.
Northwestern North Carolina is very diverse in terms of education, workforce skills and economic performance yet the region strives to reduce disparities among the counties. The stimulation of entrepreneurship through the formation and development of new commercial businesses and social enterprises plays a key role in employing underutilized resources in the distressed areas of the region.
Several entities currently provide services for entrepreneurship within Northwestern North Carolina with programs ranging from training, technical assistance, funding, and networking. Although there are numerous groups providing an aspect of entrepreneur development, the most overarching organizations in the region are the Triad Entrepreneurial Initiative (TEI), serving Forsyth, Davie, Yadkin, Surry, Stokes, and Rockingham Counties, and the Blue Ridge Entrepreneurial Council (BREC), serving Western North Carolina and including Alleghany and Ashe counties.
Blue Ridge Entrepreneurial Council is a nurturing organization for entrepreneurs in Western North Carolina, creating homegrown jobs and growing the region's economy. BREC supports entrepreneurs through the following four focus areas: education, mentoring and networking, communications and capital formation. BREC meets monthly, and provides quarterly opportunities for qualified entrepreneurial businesses to present plans before a group of local investors, the Blue Ridge Angel Investors Network.
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