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The Virginia Highlands Small Business Incubator, Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, The Washington County Chamber of Commerce, People Incorporated, and The Small Business Development Centers have partnered with Washington County VA, The Washington County IDA, The Town of Abingdon, The Department of Housing and Community Development and The Virginia Tourism Corporation to host the third annual Washington County Business Plan Challenge. The winners will receive $25,000 in total awards toward implementing their winning business strategy.
The Business Plan Challenge is an ambitious business plan competition designed to attract entrepreneurs with new technology, value added agriculture, outdoor recreation, light manufacturing and retail/support service businesses to locate their start up or expand their existing business within Washington County. One start up, one existing business within the Towns and Washington County, one Damascus business and one Glade Spring business will win $5,000 each. To be considered for the awards, participants must attend all business training classes to be held weekly over a six week period and complete a business plan that will be presented before a panel of 4 judges and 3 anonymous judges who are experts in their fields. Classes will begin on January 26, 2015 and continue thru March 1, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. weekly at The Virginia Highlands Small Business Incubator. The newest participating partner for the Challenge is Emory & Henry College who has agreed to participate as a partner for the 2016 Challenge and in the ongoing mentorship program. The Challenge and mentor team is offering free business classes on a variety of topics that will support the Business Challenge participants before, during and after the Challenge dates. These classes will be held from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. and are presented as a Noon Knowledge educational series. Businesses of all types will gain valuable insight to help the entrepreneur develop leads for selling products and services locally, gain business exposure, build relationships and network with other entrepreneurs.
To apply for the Business Challenge, please contact the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, or visit www.washingtonvachamber.org/business_challenge. Applications for the Challenge will be accepted through 5:00 pm on January 13, 2015. Space is limited and will be on a first come first serve basis. Information and updates can also be found and shared on the Facebook page Virginia Highlands Small Business Incubator, the website www.vhsbi.com, Facebook page Washington County Business Challenge, and http://events.vastartup.org.