Last week, dozens of aspiring entrepreneurs won cash awards from the Strong Mountain Communities program. 15 winners took home a total of $85,000 in seed capital for their West Virginia-based businesses.
The winners were announced at last week’s West Virginia Good Jobs conference. One of the top awards of $10,000 dollars was given to Joel McKinney of McDowell County for his business proposal to expand his farming business, Roadside Farms, to create a farmer’s market in downtown Welch.
Other winners include The West Virginia Farmers’ Cooperative, the Pretty Penny café in Hillsboro, a kombucha manufacturer in Huntington, and Homeward Bound Books in Charleston.
The majority of the money came from businesses and donors in the form of conference sponsorships. A large portion of the final pot of money was contributed by the Appalachian Regional Commission.
Strong Mountain Communities is a division of Coalfield Development Group. The mission of the program is to nurture job creation and economic development in the southern coalfields of West Virginia.