The deadline to apply to the competitive program is January 29
(Asheville, NC): It is a well-known fact that small businesses have led new job creation in the U.S. economy for the last decade. In fact, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA), businesses with fewer than 20 employees account for 90 percent of all U.S. firms and are responsible for more than 97 percent of all new jobs.
Less well-known however is that the vast majority of these new jobs are created by the sustained, incremental expansion of existing small businesses, and that start-ups account for only 7% of net new jobs. The ScaleUp WNC program offered by Mountain BizWorks is specifically focused on this economic opportunity: providing targeted growth strategy development and implementation assistance to existing small business owners with strong opportunities for growth.
“Since the ScaleUp program, we have added a whole new division of our company, we were able to get our operation manuals on track and now we’re even looking at opening another location!” – Tyler Garrison, CEO of Regeneration Station (ScaleUp WNC alumni)
Using a cohort based approach, with 15 businesses accepted into each group, ScaleUp WNC provides mentorship, management training, growth capital connections and other critical resources to help companies achieve sustained and profitable growth. Cohort members also gain a strong peer CEO network within their cohort and with the now more than 60 ScaleUp WNC alumni as well (listed below).
Applications are now being accepted for the two ScaleUp WNC cohorts for 2017. The deadline to apply is January 29. Visit ScaleUpWNC.com for more information and to apply. Cohort 5 will begin in late February in Asheville. Cohort 6 will start in June and will be based in Boone, the first cohort to be held outside of Asheville. Based on previous interest, Mountain BizWorks expects to fill both cohorts from applications received during this application window. Interested applicants are also invited to attend one of the following informational sessions:
- Tuesday 1/17 4:30pm at Basil’s & Booneshine in Boone
- Wednesday 1/18 4:30pm at the new East Fork Pottery store in Asheville
- Thursday 1/19 4:30pm at Innovation Brewing Sylva
Details and registration at ScaleUpWNC.com
In addition to the caliber of companies selected, a strength of ScaleUp WNC is the diversity of companies participating. Industries represented in the prior cohorts ranged from food & beverage to outdoor industry, and from manufacturing to professional services. Accepted companies hailed from Boone to Asheville to Bryson City and places in between. Mountain BizWorks strongly encourages applications from women-owned, minority-owned, veteran-owned and rural-based businesses. Over half of the 2016 participants met one or more of these criteria.
“This year it looks like we are on track to double our revenues, which we really attribute to the ScaleUp Program.” -Kim Celetano, CEO of VirtualJobShadow.com (ScaleUp WNC alumni)
Fifteen founders or executive managers of growth-oriented small businesses will be selected through a competitive, merit-based application process for each ScaleUp WNC cohort. Businesses must be based in Western North Carolina, have at least one full-time employee, and have identified opportunities for business expansion. Additionally, accepted businesses typically have been in for business for at least 2 years and have annual revenues between $150,000 and $750,000.
This unique program is offered at no-cost thanks to funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration, however companies chosen are expected to make a firm commitment of time to participate in the program. Western North Carolina has been selected as one of the first eight places nationally to launch an SBA ScaleUp America program, a recognition of the vibrant entrepreneurial community in WNC.
Additional program details, dates and the online application form are available at ScaleUpWNC.com.
ScaleUp WNC alumni companies include: Cohort 1: Brightfield Transportation Solutions, Carolina Native Nursery, Dieseljobs.com, Dolci di Maria, Equinox, Farm to Home Milk, Hi-Wire Brewing, Lusty Monk, Mother Earth Produce, New Appalachia, Outrider USA, SimpleShot Shooting Sports, Strivven Media/Virtual Job Shadow, The Filling Station Deli And Sub Shop, Ultimate Ice Cream. Cohort 2: APEX Brain Centers, Appalachia Cookie Company, BearWaters Brewing Company, Cab Hound, Covenant Health Products, Destination by Design, Dog Door Canine Services, eCBiz Solutions, Go Yoga, GoWorx, Heurista, Odyssey ClayWorks, Sherpa Hunting, Spectra3D Technologies, The Regeneration Station. Cohort 3: Black Mountain Ciderworks, Blue Ridge Energy Works, Brian Boggs Chairmakers, Copper Pot & Wooden Spoon, East Fork Pottery, Innovation Brewing, Kudzu Brands, Medea’s Espresso & Juice Bar, No Evil Foods, Organic Planet Cleaning, Outfitter Bicycle Tours, Pisgah Pest Control, Port City Music, Printville, Still Point Wellness. Cohort 4: Addison Farms Vineyard, ADORAtherapy , All American Food Fights, Big Boom Design, Blue Ridge Solutions, Brewed For Her Ledger, Bright Star Touring Theatre, DuinoKit, Duncan & York, Elements, JB Media Institute, Jennythreads, Jukebox Junction Restaurant & Soda Shoppe, Sunburst Chef and Farmer, The Sunset Motel, Wishbone Tiny Homes