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New program supports business, entrepreneur growth

New program supports business, entrepreneur growth

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HICKORY — Catawba Valley Community College has been named one of five institutions across the country that have been accepted into Phase II of the Everyday Entrepreneur Venture Fund (EEVF) Program through the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE).

The EEVF Program’s goal is to help build new businesses through community college resources and sustain their success.

With the aim of supporting local economics through entrepreneurship, the EEVF Program also helps would-be entrepreneurs who are women, people of color, veterans and others who do not qualify for traditional financing with a variety of resources, including training, mentoring, seed funding and loans.

“This new partnership with the National Association of Community Colleges for Entrepreneurship (NACCE) through the Everyday Entrepreneur Venture Fund (EEVF) will bolster our ability to reach more individuals with great ideas and assist them to get into business more rapidly, which will create jobs for our citizens,” said CVCC President Garrett Hinshaw. “We are excited to lead another great innovation for our community and are committed to getting new businesses up and running for a sustainable economic future for our community. This new partnership could not have come at a more critical time given the impacts on our economy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

This is the second phase of the EEVF project that started in 2017 with an initial investment of $1 million from Chip and Stuart Weismiller, who launched the program in order to support community colleges who are best positioned to assist community-based start-ups, scale-ups of existing businesses and the implementation of proven replicable business models.

NACCE announced this spring a gift of $100,000 from the EEVF to continue the work initiated in Phase I and expand the program across the nation, which Catawba Valley Community College will now play a role in.

“We are delighted to build on the success of the first phase of the EEVF pilot by onboarding five leading community colleges that will work together to leverage existing academic resources, spur local matching dollars and create new everyday businesses,” said Rebecca Corbin, president and CEO of NACCE. “This work has never been more important than it is today with the national and global crises at hand. NACCE is working diligently to raise additional funds to support these colleges in their efforts and to provide matching dollars for their local communities.”

Hinshaw says acceptance into the EEVF Program will help continue and grow the college’s commitment to local business and entrepreneurs.

“Catawba Valley Community College has been supporting entrepreneurs in the local area for years through a variety of core initiatives such as the Small Business Center, entrepreneurship tracts for certificates, StartUpCatawba, SkillsUSA and many other strategic programs aimed at strengthening the region’s economic ecosystem,” he said. “We are participating in strong partnerships with the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce and our local entrepreneurial ecosystem already.”

For more information on the Everyday Entrepreneur Venture Fund, visit www.eeventurefund.org.

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