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with Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith

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Jan 18 - Feb 22


4:00 pm - 7:00 pm




Online — Zoom, NC

If you live in a rural WNC location, have a low-to-moderate income, or are an agricultural business, you may qualify for a partial scholarship (discounted rate is up to 80% off for qualifying individuals). Request a scholarship within the online registration form. Each class offering has a limited number of scholarships and they are available on a first come, first served basis.

For questions, please contact Millie Smith,  millie@mountainbizworks.org (828) 253-2834 ext. 10 if you have any questions

The Alpine Course is designed to support founders of businesses that have been operating for at least one year.
Alpine will give you the opportunity to explore your options by assessing where you have been through financial, marketing and customer analytics along with revisiting your mission, vision, and values, as well as peer to peer support. This course will help you ideate new ways of doing business, create a deep understanding of your financials and what they mean, and examine your customer segment through a variety of exercises and conversations. We will re-connect with your why and help you imagine new short and long term goals to grow and sustain your business.
During this 5-week course provides, you will get up and out of your day-to-day operations and regain an aerial perspective of where you have been, where you are now, and where your business is headed in a peer-to-peer learning environment.
This course will build on the core concepts of our popular Foundations Business Planning course while also assisting entrepreneurs in determining whether our ScaleUp WNC program may be a good fit for them in the future.  


Meet our Alpine Facilitator

Mountain BizWorks event presenter, Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith

Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith

Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith currently serves as the Project Manager for Craft Your Commerce at Mountain BizWorks. She is the former Executive Director for the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG)...

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Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith currently serves as the Project Manager for Craft Your Commerce at Mountain BizWorks. She is the former Executive Director for the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG), an organization dedicated to the support and advancement of contemporary jewelry and metal artists.  Before that, Gwynne was the Executive Director for HandMade in America, an economic development organization that focuses on growing craft economies in Western North Carolina.  While there she created Craft Labs a professional development series of classes for artists.  She is an accomplished glass artist as well as an arts executive.  She ran a successful glass business for several years.  She has worked with both rural and urban communities teaching her professional development and entrepreneurship workshops across the country for over 18 years.  Gwynne believes in helping artists and small business owners expand their markets and create sustainable businesses.   She currently serves as the Board Chair for the North Carolina Glass Center and lives in Asheville, NC with her husband and two dogs.


Week 1


The focus this week is on regaining perspective of your venture today, your mission and vision, and what your goals are for this course and for the future. It is also a chance to get to know your fellow cohort members and begin learning from their entrepreneurial endeavors.

Week 2 and 3


During these sessions we focus on the numbers and the stories that they tell. In Week 2, we will interpret key financial statements and look closely at each line of business within the venture in relation to units of sale, break-even points, and profit and sales goals. During Week 3, we will utilize Birds Eye Financial Tools to create cash flow projections for the future based on new ideas or opportunities surfacing within the business.

Week 4


We focus on the marketing efforts to date: how is the venture generating awareness about its products and services and gaining feedback from its audiences? During Week 4 we will review all current marketing materials and revisit core concepts of creating a strong brand identity while gaining feedback from peers. During this week we will brainstorm and create new ideas and pathways for connecting with our clients and customers.

Week 5


We focus on action plans for moving forward with an opportunity for 1:1 coaching to review key measurements for implementation.


January 18, 2022
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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Mountain BizWorks
828-253-2834 ext 10


Online — Zoom, NC