Incubating and Investing in Employment-Based Social Enterprises

We wholly or partially own a family of employment-based social enterprises designed to diversify the regional economy to be less dependent on coal. By “employment-based” we mean enterprises that exist for the purpose of advancing the well-being of its employees, which we do primarily through our personal and academic development programming. Our enterprise’s successes are measured according to a triple bottom line: people, planet, profit. Revenue from our social enterprises enables our organization create hundreds of jobs and to be less grant-dependent and more financially sustainable. Our communities are severely economically distressed as result of over-reliance on the coal industry. Therefore, creating new businesses is critical to realizing our vision; otherwise, our trainees and graduates would often have nowhere to put their new training and credentials to use.

Our impact so far:

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Coalfield Development Social Enterprises

Our family of social enterprises inspire the courage to grow, the creativity to transform perceived liabilities into assets, and the community needed to cultivate real opportunity in Appalachia through mentorship, education and employment.

Strong Mountain Communities Investments

Coalfield Development incubates and grows a family of social enterprises in sectors it believes have the potential to diversify the regional economy and create good jobs. The enterprises we support measure their value according to our triple-bottom-line: people, planet, and profit. Strong Mountain Communities often heads these endeavors and is focused on nurturing job creation and sustainable economic development and diversification in the southern coalfields of West Virginia. Strong Mountain Communities provides deal-making services that align funding, technical assistance, business coaching and promotion to support and adequately capitalize burgeoning businesses and social enterprises in our region.

Strong Mountain Communities primarily serve as a central convener for businesses, organizations and stake holders concerned with the economic well-being of southern West Virginia. We collect and disseminate the lessons learned by its partners through an annual regional conference, periodic meetings at the local level and representation and advocacy at regional and national meetings.

Strong Mountain Communities has played a vital role in supporting local entrepreneurs by creating the opportunity for them to pitch their business ideas for the chance to receive startup capital. Strong Mountain Communities has invested in:

Pitch Contest Recipients – First Year

Stages Music School • Scout’s Honor Pet Food Pantry • Pretty Penny Cafe • Homeward Bound Books • Out of the Box Room Escape, LLC • Wellbeing Solutions • Elevate Elixirs, LLC • West Virginia Farmers Cooperative, Inc. • Mountain State Outdoor Products, LLC • Roadside Farms • Redwing Farm Soup • Sauer Appal • Solar Wind Storage, LLC • RoadSpan Systems, LLC • Terra Technologies

Pitch Contest Recipients – Second Year

Iron Brew • Fun Fitness Kids Club • New Beginning Learning Academy, LLC • Meowtain Momma Catfé • Aqua Door Records • Second Chance Technology Corporation • The Cat and The Fiddle • The Hub Community Café • Orion Transcription Services, LLC • TrueSolar • Yew Mountain Center, Inc. • Hammer and Stain Princeton, LLC • The Gentlemen’s Quarter Ltd. Co. • Robin’s Nest Fellowship Home • WV Autism • LoCasto Piano and Instrument Lessons, LLC • Hillbilly Hustlers • The Gravy Train