Press Release: Mountain BizWorks Receives $2.3M MBDA Award to Help Underserved Entrepreneurs Grow Their Businesses

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ASHEVILLE, NC (October 25, 2023) — Mountain BizWorks has been awarded over $2.3 million from the U.S. Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). As announced by Vice President Kamala Harris, Mountain BizWorks is one of 43 organizations out of a pool of over 1,000 applicants across the country to receive the national grant from the MBDA’s Capital Readiness Program. The program provides funding to organizations across the country with expertise to support underserved entrepreneurs through training and other critical resources, tools, and technical assistance to access capital through incubators and accelerators.

“Mountain BizWorks is honored to be selected for MBDA’s first ever Capital Readiness Program,” shared Matt Raker, Mountain BizWorks’ Executive Director. “Western North Carolina is home to a dynamic and expanding network of entrepreneurs from historically under-resourced areas, including those from rural communities and communities of color. This funding from MBDA will enable us and our partners to help these entrepreneurs scale up, access needed growth capital, and create inclusive economic opportunities across rural WNC.”

The MBDA award will support three core pillars for WNC entrepreneurs: capacity building, access to capital, and access to networks. Towards establishing a more coordinated and broader pathway for WNC businesses looking to grow, it will expand existing programs such as Mountain BizWorks’ Catalyst and ScaleUp, and will also integrate programs from Hatch Innovation Hub, Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation, Olive Hill CDC, Venture Asheville, High Country Impact Fund, Impact WNC Fund, Black Wall Street AVL, and other entrepreneurial development partners.

More details about the four-year plan for the funds will be announced at a special announcement and year end celebration event on November 30 from 5:30 – 7:30 at The Mule at Devil’s Foot Beverage Company. Guests are invited to attend and learn more about the impact the MBDA funding will have on the WNC region in the years to come. 

For more information about the award, visit


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