Staunton to host Virginia Microenterprise Network conference

On September 30 and October 1,  the designated Virginia Main Street community of Staunton will host the annual Virginia Microenterprise Network  conference. This year’s  theme is Revitalizing Neighborhoods through Entrepreneurship. The program includes a look at entrepreneurship in the Queen City;  the role of craft,  green building, and farm-based strategies in revitalization; identifying and supporting emerging neighborhood entrepreneurs; and … More Staunton to host Virginia Microenterprise Network conference

The unexpected entrepreneur

If you were asked to describe an entrepreneur, what words would you use?  Maybe terms like “bright, energetic, or magnetic.”  This 2004 article in the aptly named magazine Entrepreneur, gives a whole host of other terms, not all of them complimentary.  Two descriptions of an entrepreneur that most people would not use are “ex-felon,” and … More The unexpected entrepreneur

Quality v. quantity

Last Thursday, at the Virginia Main Street 25th Anniversary Milestone Achievement Awards, keynote speaker Chuck D’Aprix spoke about the importance of making your downtown attractive to entrepreneurs.  One way to do this is to focus on the quality of the experience rather than the quantity of products you sell. In short, it is difficult to compete … More Quality v. quantity

Video: Culpeper’s thriving foodshed

Downtown Culpeper’s focus on farm fresh food through the farmer’s market, destination restaurants, and special food themed events has contributed to the revitalization of the historic community.  Watch “Meet the Farmer” host Michael Clark talk with community leaders involved in the new vitality of Culpeper.  The segment features Culpeper Renaissance, Inc. in a success story that builds on the … More Video: Culpeper’s thriving foodshed

Entrepreneurial stories

We have been promoting the idea that recessions and layoffs, while very difficult to navigate, provide the impetus for an entrepreneurial boom.  Now, the Kauffman Foundation has issued its report supporting our claims. In economic gardening terms, this is the equivilant of burning last years crops to make way for the new “green shoots.”   … More Entrepreneurial stories

Growing a success narrative

Is Abingdon on the brink of a new renaissance? That was the title question of a front page Bristol Herald Courier story this week connecting new businesses in the Washington County town to a strategic investment in Southwest Virginia’s cultural heritage. This little town might be the next Asheville, at least according to the buzz downtown,” opens staff … More Growing a success narrative

Bright ideas for business

What is a good business proposition?  That is a tough question to answer.  I am sure that many people thought that two old hippies were crazy when they started an ice cream company in Vermont, where summers last only a few months and the temperature can drop to near freezing in August.  But those that saw promise … More Bright ideas for business

New approaches to business incubation

Business incubators can provide start-up enterprises with professional space for reasonable rents – but they can play a much larger role as well. They can connect new entrepreneurs to the technical assistance and training that will provide them with a running start.  In addition, business incubators can provide a network of entrepreneurially minded cohorts in close proximity to foster the type … More New approaches to business incubation

Virginia’s Main Street in the news

The Sunday, April 5 edition of the Richmond Times-Dispatch had several articles of note about Virginia Main Street communities.  First was an article about Abingdon’s latest downtown promotion, then an article about Page County’s (including Luray) attempt to be designated as the “Cabin Capital of Virginia.” Then yet another article, this one talking about the … More Virginia’s Main Street in the news