Deepen your understanding, overcome obstacles, and grow strategically.
Mountain BizWorks partners with local successful business owners to bring you coaches who have been where you are and are invested in our community, so you get the best and most relevant support no matter where you and your business are at.How we match you with a coach
Apply for coaching
Our orientation sessions are a great way to get the lay of the land at Mountain BizWorks before you set off to create all that you dream!Save your spot
Are you new to Mountain BizWorks, have launched a new business since your last engagement with us, or have only had limited engagement with us in the last 6 months? This is the right application for you.
Are you a current Mountain BizWorks loan client (not including PPP, One Buncombe Fund, or other disaster recovery funding loans), received 1:1 business coaching, or participated in a course in the past 6 months? This is the right application for you.
We start by taking the pulse of your business through an initial comprehensive intake session.
Using what we’ve learned in the assessment we’ll work together to identify top issues for your business.
Develop a tailored coaching and technical assistance plan.
Whatever your motivation for finding a business coach, our aim is to match you with the best coach based on your industry, specialty and need.
We go deep in the following areas but are not limited to only these. As we listen to the needs of our dreamers, we find coaches.
We find and qualify our coaches based on a deeply connected, long-standing network of local business owners. These have succeeded through many difficulties.
We won’t tell you what to do but instead act as a sounding board and help you find step-by-step solutions based on experience and professional principles.
Audra Gaiziunas is the CEO of Bhramari Brewing Company and Owner of Brewed...
Audra Gaiziunas is the CEO of Bhramari Brewing Company and Owner of Brewed For Her Ledger. She has extensive experience in accounting and finance with not-for-profits, small business, manufacturing (specifically craft beverage) and retail. Over the past 11 years she has worked with 200+ breweries and has served as Bhramari’s CEO since September 2016. Teaching small business owners financial literacy is her passion. She holds degrees in accounting & biz mgmt and an MBA from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Barry is a NC native and has an MBA from WCU. He worked in the management...
Barry is a NC native and has an MBA from WCU. He worked in the management of a multi-generation family owned construction firm for 10+years before stepping away to launch businesses in Agriculture and Real Estate. He has worked with entrepreneurs across the Carolinas over the past 6 years as a business coach and instructor in Business Planning, Finance, Accounting and QuickBooks courses. Barry is fluent in Spanish and passionate about helping the Latino community.
My family and I are outdoor lovers with a focus on climbing, running & hiki...
My family and I are outdoor lovers with a focus on climbing, running & hiking. I have owned and operated a small business in WNC for over 20 years, as a Chef & Baker. My affinity towards regional flavors & sustainable goods have led me into a community of local growers, artisans and lovers of fine things. My experience encompasses many skill sets: Baking, Cooking, Staff Management, Financial Acuity, Customer Service & Community Organizer. I believe food is the center for social enlightenment.
Dane started a software company with a product that he developed along with...
Dane started a software company with a product that he developed along with his wife. He grew the business to $2.5 million per year. At that time he was able to successfully sell the business. After retiring at 45, he moved to Asheville and since then has coached hundreds of small businesses in all aspects of their businesses. He specializes in Technology, Strategic Planning, Business Optimization, and Finance.
I am a photographer that focuses on making beautiful imagery. My main focu...
I am a photographer that focuses on making beautiful imagery. My main focus has been the outdoor industry but I have worked in many different fields as well! I have technical skills in product photography and branding photography.
Eboné Graham is an equity advocate, entrepreneur and blogger. She assists...
Eboné Graham is an equity advocate, entrepreneur and blogger. She assists minority and low to moderate income earners grow their businesses as the Opportunity Asheville Liaison, serves as a board member of Equity Over Everything, as the Asheville Sister Cities Committee Chair of Osogbo, Nigeria, a proud member of the Adé Project Collective and a host on The Asheville View. She is thrilled to be a part of the Mountain BizWorks team and believes entrepreneurship to be a path out of poverty.
With over 30 years of "on the street" business building experience and with...
With over 30 years of "on the street" business building experience and with over 11000 hours of educating, supporting, motivating and inspiring business owners, I provide strategies and support for you to navigate the 4 stages of business in order to create your business to be Sustainable, Profitable, Independent and one that Thrives...
practiced business law for a few years before joining a media conglomerate...
practiced business law for a few years before joining a media conglomerate in HR role. Moved to head human resources for NYC publishing company, then developed HR strategic consulting practice; certified mediator, certified in several training, teaching methodologies.
small business tax prep/bookkeeping/accounting services offered
small business tax prep/bookkeeping/accounting services offered
With 20+ years of experience in a wide range of industries, working with en...
With 20+ years of experience in a wide range of industries, working with entrepreneurs, start-ups and C-Suite executives of large corporations, Gia has a broad understanding of the dynamics of a successful business. Her passion is building a more inclusive, vibrant and thriving community by supporting small business owners on a 1:1 basis. As a business coach, her talents lie in bookkeeping, logistics, and creating efficient processes to help her clients build a solid foundation for their future.
Jensen Gelfond is the owner of Asheville Digital Lifestyle, which provides...
Jensen Gelfond is the owner of Asheville Digital Lifestyle, which provides help and teaching for Mac, PC, Smartphone and WiFi.
Asheville Digital Lifestyle specializes in helping everyday people and business owners better understand their technology and protect their digital lives. ADL’s services include troubleshooting, computer setup, and technology project management. Jensen is also an Evernote Certified Consultant and provides paperless productivity training.
After graduating from UNCA in 2010, Jesse worked as an IT professional at s...
After graduating from UNCA in 2010, Jesse worked as an IT professional at several companies before joining PRC Applications as a co-owner in 2013. While Jesse comes from a design background, he's been working in eCommerce as a front-end web developer for 7 years. Specializing in Shopify, Jesse uses his knowledge of digital sales, technology, and brand identity to help businesses take their ideas from concept to reality, and develop their online strategy.
Dr. Joseph Fox possesses more than 30 years of entrepreneurial development...
Dr. Joseph Fox possesses more than 30 years of entrepreneurial development training. His experiences as a former Department Chairperson of Business Administration and as Associate Director of NC Rural Entrepreneurship through Action Learning (REAL) have enhanced his ability to guide clients through all phases of entrepreneurial development including concept feasibility, capacity building, market feasibility, strategic planning, and establishing realistic cash flow projections.
Lee Kincheloe is a graduate from North Carolina State University, double ma...
Lee Kincheloe is a graduate from North Carolina State University, double majoring in Entrepreneurship & Marketing. Lee has built and launched multiple service-based companies, both in the sports/technology and music industry and has served as COO at a textile manufacturing company. Lee specializes in early-stage companies, with a focus on funding, marketing, financial planning, branding, and achieving improved scalability.
Mark is a highly qualified Chief Financial Officer with over 40 years of ac...
Mark is a highly qualified Chief Financial Officer with over 40 years of accomplished financial management, accounting, and tax expertise, including many years of operational experience.
During Mark’s career, he has developed concentrated expertise in structuring, organizing, and implementing complex financial transactions. He is proficient in analyzing and negotiating acquisitions and dispositions as well as performing strategic planning.
Melody Isis Herman
Creator, Broker, Coach. She serves as a core leader, supporter, connector w...
Creator, Broker, Coach. She serves as a core leader, supporter, connector w/in the AVL startup/entrepreneurial community as Lead Organizer of 1MCAVL. As founder of Pop Benefits she guides clients through insurance, business, & life in a fresh, loving, manageable way. Her non-traditional approach equips clients w/ tools necessary to manage stress, fear, energy; make decisions from a place of clarity; amplify creativity; reprogram habits & patterns; & generate a long-lasting pattern of excellence.
35 years CPG, food and non-food. Works with emerging brands in CPG. Recent...
35 years CPG, food and non-food. Works with emerging brands in CPG. Recent launches, SuckerPunch, leading efforts from startup national brand. Brio ice cream, selling nationally, and part of No Evil Food’s early launch. Paul has built sales for legacy brands such as Celtic Sea Salt. Paul continues to run his own consulting firm helping startups. Among current clients are a young plant-based ice cream brand called Revolution Gelato along with an emerging brand that sells cold brew coffee.
Regina Connell specializes in finding unexpected connections between people...
Regina Connell specializes in finding unexpected connections between people, ideas, brands, and market opportunities
Steffi Rausch is the owner of Evolv LLC focused on building effective and e...
Steffi Rausch is the owner of Evolv LLC focused on building effective and enticing websites (including ecommerce) and enewsletters that “pull in” targeted customers through SEO and calls-to-action. With 22 years of experience to pull from, Steffi has a unique eye for design, a full breadth of knowledge in development, a wide array of clients she has worked with from various industries, and an amazing ability to advise customers based on their needs vs. their wants.
Steve & his wife Cheryl are the founders and owners of The Old Mule Company...
Steve & his wife Cheryl are the founders and owners of The Old Mule Company in Polk County, NC. They have manufactured a line of quality bbq sauces on their farm for over 26 years and market it throughout the country. They also operate Old Mule Farm raising sheep and lambs.
Veronica is a Certified Public Accountant, Chartered Global Management Acco...
Veronica is a Certified Public Accountant, Chartered Global Management Accountant and QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor. A graduate of UNC Charlotte earning a BS of Science in Accounting as well as earning a MS in Accounting from GA Southern University. Prior to opening Balanced Virtually Veronica was employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Newell Rubbermaid, and Milwaukee Electric Tool in various roles that provided experience in financial reporting, forecasting, budgeting, and auditing.
No coaches found. Please broaden your search.
Coaching is normally $55/ hour and our coaches are local business owners, consultants, or retirees who are contracted through Mountain BizWorks.
Eligibility for a scholarship enables you to receive coaching at no cost, up to a certain limit of hours.
The limit of free coaching hours will depend on the funding source of your scholarship.
As a nonprofit organization, Mountain BizWorks receives funding for scholarships from various sources, including government agencies, private foundations and companies which have their own specific requirements and criteria. We determine the funding source of your scholarship award based on different factors, including your household income, location and sector of business.
Mountain BizWorks has a contractor network of 40+ coaches and facilitators from a variety of backgrounds who are dedicated to supporting local businesses.
Yes. Each coach at Mountain BizWorks signs a contract with a confidentiality clause stating that they agree to keep confidential all information obtained through discussions, presentations, telephone conversations, email, or any other exchange of information about potential and actual businesses, business ideas, or plans.
The coach is authorized to share information discussed with Mountain BizWorks staff. The staff at Mountain BizWorks have also signed confidentiality agreements.
Permissions from the client to share anything of a confidential nature with outside parties are required in writing.
We encourage idea stage businesses to participate in Taking The Leap, a free 4 session course offered by our resource partner, Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC).
Through Mountain BizWorks, taking our free orientation and start up business planning course, Foundations, positions entrepreneurs to have a richer experience with coaching since those offerings generate great questions to tackle in coaching.
Although we encourage these initial steps, clients in any stage of business are welcome to pursue business coaching. The course offerings help fill in the blanks and provide a structured peer-to-peer learning experience to cover the small business building blocks.Our coaching services weave in and out of every stage of business and work in tandem with many of these courses for extra support!
Lastly, coaching is a judgment free zone. We understand that client’s journey to small business ownership takes many forms and clients come to us with different levels of knowledge. Both new and seasoned business owners always have something to learn! The Mountain BizWorks coaches aim to share their wisdom and experience to help you on your journey to start, grow, and thrive.
We call the relationship set up by Mountain BizWorks between the client and a coach a Coaching Project.
Since the majority of our coaches are active business owners themselves, we can’t promise any one particular coach will be able to work with you. We review the goals you’ve shared and match you with a coach based on our knowledge of a variety of factors including: the coach’s experience, your sector, your business model, stage of business, personality, etc.
The short answer is no. Our coaches can offer general advice around business structure, business partnership agreements, and other topics to help you narrow your focus and list of questions to maximize your time when speaking with a lawyer.
We offer occasional legal workshops where we partner with NC Leap and Pisgah Legal Group to connect our clients with legal experts.
Visit our events calendar for a list of upcoming legal workshops.
Each coach has their own special sauce, meaning no two coach follows the same session format.
Our coaches are wonderful guides for the challenges with starting and growing a business, however, keep in mind that they are there to be your sounding board and not to complete projects for you. The coach’s role is to help you make informed decisions and work with you to learn key business concepts and strategies to reach your goals.
No. Coaches are not supposed to sell you anything or gain financially in any way from this pairing.
If you would like to work with the coach outside of Mountain BizWorks for any service, please email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can officially close out the Mountain BizWorks coaching project.
Mountain BizWorks does not endorse or take responsibility for the outcomes of any arrangements outside of our organization.
No. We have not authorized in-person meetings at this time for the safety of our clients and coaches. We will communicate with you when this changes.
We have a 24-hour cancellation policy for scheduled coaching sessions. If you cancel in advance of this window, please communicate with your coach about selecting a new time. If more than 3 sessions are missed outside of the 24-hour cancellation window within a 3 month period, the scholarship for free coaching can be removed. When the session is canceled within the 24-hour window, the coach can still bill and be paid for this appointment which would deduct from your pre-paid or scholarship hours. We appreciate your understanding and respect for our 24-hour policy.
Any advice or communication that occurs in-between or outside of scheduled coaching sessions are billable and will be deducted from your coaching hours. These include non-scheduled consultations between yourself and your coach conducted via phone, text, or email. Coaches may also, from time to time, discuss your project with the staff at Mountain BizWorks to determine appropriate coaching measures and business support services that will aid in advancing your project goals. This is considered administrative time and may also be deducted from your coaching hours. Your coach will notify you whenever non-scheduled communication and administrative time is to be deducted from the balance of your approved or purchased coaching hours. In the event the coach does not communicate this to you, please understand that the additional efforts to coordinate are also a time commitment for your coach towards supporting you. If you have any questions or concerns about the extent of these deductions, please reach out directly to Jill Kichefski, Business Coaching Manager at Mountain BizWorks.
Come with an open mind and a list of questions.
Communicate with your coach what you hope to accomplish. They will let you know if any of your goals are outside of our coaching program.
Mountain BizWorks does not have access to each coach’s calendars.
Coordinate directly with your coach a time that works for both of your schedules.
Be proactive in checking your available purchased or scholarship hours and schedule a routine time to meet with your coach.
This is based on each client’s needs. As long as the coaching is productive and we have enough funding available, we’ll continue to approve additional hours.
Each project is assigned hours. Fewer hours are usually assigned in the beginning to make sure it’s a good fit and you like working with that particular coach.
What you see is not what you get if you’re a scholarship client. Meaning the hours approved are just the starting point.
Clients are responsible for 1) confirming their coach is available to meet for additional sessions and 2) the submission of the Request Hours Link to keep the coaching project going.
Use the Request Hours Link from your session summary emails when you’re below 2 hours remaining.
We’re here for the challenges as well as the wins! Share your success story with our Communications Manager, Justin Thompson, via email for the opportunity to be highlighted in one of our BizNews e-newsletters.
Don’t see your question here?Reach out to us