Strong Mountain Communities by Coalfield Development 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 is focused on nurturing job creation and sustainable economic development and diversification in the southern coalfields of West Virginia. We provide 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.
We 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.
The 3rd Annual Central Appalachian Social Enterprise Summit was November 19, 2019 at Tamarack in Beckley, WV and was held in conjunction with the Central Appalachian Network Regional Peer-to-Peer Convening, which focused on community economic development more broadly. Appalachians interested in learning more about starting a social enterprise or business planning and coaching joined together to share ideas with fellow entrepreneurs.
Sponsors of the 2019 Social Enterprise Summit included: New River Gorge Regional Development Authority, Epic Mission, MEP West Virginia Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Rural Action, WV Hive, Healthy Kids and Families Coalition, Unlimited Future, Inc., and Central Appalachian Network.
The 2018 Strong Mountain Communities Social Enterprise Summit presented by Coalfield Development was set for November 16 at Tamarack in Beckley, West Virginia. Attendees gained a renewed sense of optimism in Appalachia by joining entrepreneurs, small business professionals, funders, and social impact advocates from across the region. Brainstorming, networking, and discovering unique ways to build and grow the Appalachian economy from the ground up, participants gained valuable knowledge about what it takes to succeed and bring their ideas to life.
In addition to awarding Social Showcase finalists with startup capital, local Social Entrepreneurs of the Year were also recognized at the Summit. The need for economic development that serves not only for-profit motives – but also invests back into our communities is vital. Social enterprises can come in all different forms, from for-profit businesses that give back in a big way, worker-owned cooperatives that keep wealth local, non-profits that also generate revenue, public-private partnerships, and family-owned businesses started by low-income or marginalized folks. Everyday, West Virginians are building this new economy… and we recognized those heroes by showcasing Social Entrepreneurs of the Year and telling a little about their story. These awards were sponsored by Coalfield Development, Strong Mountain Communities, the WV Healthy Kids and Families Coalition, the Just Transition Fund, and dozens of other partners.
Lost Creek Farm
2018 Social Entrepreneur of the Year
West Virginia Farmers Cooperative, Inc.
2018 Social Entrepreneur of the 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
The West Virginia Good Jobs Conference was created to bring together entrepreneurs, funders, accelerators, local community leaders and government agencies to trade ideas, recognize leading entrepreneurs, provide mentorship and support to entrepreneurs in southern West Virginia. Our focus was on bringing everyone to the table to create sustainable economic development throughout Appalachia. The Business Plan Competition provided an opportunity for local entrepreneurs who were interested in starting, growing or saving their business to ‘pitch’ their best idea and be eligible to receive cash awards. As part of the conference, participation in round table workshops strengthened business plans and provided networking opportunities to obtain funding.
Finalists competed on November 7, 2017 at Tamarack in Beckley, West Virginia. Start-up capital in amounts of $2,000, $5,000 and $10,000 were awarded to each of the winners on the last day of the conference, November 8, 2017.
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
Formed by local leaders and devoted to rebuilding the Appalachian economy, we look for new solutions to old problems that will breathe new life into our communities. Our mission is based on courage, creativity and community and we measure success according to the triple bottom line, people, planet and profit.
Strong Mountain Communities has a great team dedicated to sustainable economic development and diversification. To learn more about how you can get involved or for more information, send us a message!