BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVDN) – Communities of Healing (COH), the growing recovery to work initiative in Southern West Virginia, is seeking statewide applicants for a new Investment Lab business development program that will be unveiled March 20 at the next gathering. The free event (which will be offered in-person or virtually) is from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Fruits of Labor, 313 Neville Street in Beckley.
Judy Moore, executive director of the West Virginia Hive and deputy director of the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority (NRGRDA), said the new COH Investment Lab is designed to help social enterprise leaders throughout West Virginia seek traditional and non-traditional capital to fund their organization’s mission and growth.
“The Investment Lab is a dynamic, 12-week learning experience, led by Wright Venture Services and supported by the West Virginia Hive, for social enterprise entrepreneurs and a rare opportunity for expert training that could lead to new sources of funding and mentorship,” said Moore.
Moore said the cohort training is being made available to provide an extra learning and growth opportunity for businesses and is most suitable for leaders who:
- are a business owner or manager who has both mission and margin goals;
- have 12 months or more of business operations and want to scale your business; and
- are currently or are willing to commit to hiring people in recovery or who have barriers to employment.
Lab sessions will focus on:
- A spectrum of capital providers, products, and examples of the use of funds
- Impact Capital Ecosystems (understand how money flows)
- A business diagnostic tool to articulate your strategy to investors
- Financial modeling to demonstrate repayments and impact
- Tips and templates on how to package your impact story and pitch
- Leadership discussions with social entrepreneurs
Scholarships are available for eligible applicants in both the West Virginia Hive service area and statewide. Certain criteria must be met. Those organizations wishing to apply for the spring cohort of the COH Investment Lab should contact Peni Adams at 304-712-2351 or email@example.com. The application is available on www.communitiesofhealing.com.
The Communities of Healing program was funded in 2020 by the Appalachian Regional Commission. The program is designed on the success of Fruits of Labor, a culinary program that has worked for nine years with those in recovery and 20 years in business.
The program includes a partnership group consisting of Fruits of Labor, Region 4 Planning and Development Council, Seed Sower Inc., Wright Venture Services, Region 1 Workforce Development Board and the West Virginia Hive.