Transylvania County has more than 3,780 businesses in a variety of industries including food and organic products, beverages, sports and outdoor gear, advanced manufacturing, creative services and tourism. The overwhelming majority of new investment and job creation in a community, up to 75%, comes from existing businesses looking to expand. However, with growth comes a new set of challenges. The ScaleUp WNC program works with existing entrepreneurs and small business owners from across western North Carolina that have demonstrated initial success and potential for significant growth. Applications are now being accepted for the third and fourth ScaleUp WNC cohorts.
Using a cohort-based approach, with 15 businesses accepted into each group, ScaleUp WNC provides mentorship, management training, growth capital connections and other critical resources to help companies achieve breakthrough growth and contribute to the small business-led economic development of western North Carolina.
Fifteen founders or executive managers of growth-oriented small businesses will be selected through a competitive, merit-based application process for each ScaleUp WNC cohort. Businesses must be based in Western North Carolina, have at least one full-time employee, and have identified opportunities for business expansion. Additionally, accepted businesses typically have been in for business for at least 2 years and have annual revenues between $150,000 and $750,000.
Last year, Covenant Health Products in Brevard, NC, was selected for the Summer 2015 program along with 14 other companies in industries ranging in food, breweries, retail, technology, design and creative services.
This unique program is offered at no-cost thanks to funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration, however companies chosen are expected to make a firm commitment of time to participate in the program. Western North Carolina has been selected as one of the first eight places nationally to launch an SBA ScaleUp America program, a recognition of the vibrant entrepreneurial community in WNC.