Kentucky Proud Connection


ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Applications are now being accepted for Accelerating Appalachia’s spring 2016 workshop series, hosted in Kentucky and North Carolina.

Applications will be accepted from Kentucky, North Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, and Ohio, with preference for businesses from those state’s Appalachian regions.

Accelerating Appalachia connects growth-stage nature-based businesses from the rural and urban hubs of central and southern Appalachia to help expand their customer base, supply chains, peer and mentor network, and investment opportunities. Nature-based businesses and entrepreneurs in the following sectors are encouraged to apply:

  • Farming
  • Food
  • Clean energy
  • Forest products (natural building) and non-timber forest products (ginseng, mushrooms, fruit and nut trees)
  • Fiber/Textiles
  • Craft Brewing/Distilling
  • Botanicals/Wellness
  • Outdoor Industry
  • Other innovative triple bottom-line businesses with special consideration for innovators and entrepreneurs from marginalized populations.

Accelerating Appalachia’s spring 2016 program consists of four three-day workshops over 12 weeks from February-May. Workshops will be hosted in Pikeville, Lexington, and Louisville, Ky., and Asheville, N.C. Seasoned entrepreneurs, including Kentucky Entrepreneurial Coaches Institute and the Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (KCARD) and other proven practitioners will serve as business development mentors. They will serve as business development mentors, and coach entrepreneurs on financials, marketing, customer acquisitions, supply chain, and every other aspect of business development, including preparing for investment now and in the future.


Need-based scholarships are available to defray the cost of tuition.
Accelerating Appalachia is collaborating and partnering with Kentucky Proud/Appalachia Proud and many other enterprises and organizations from across the region.

Accelerating Appalachia held a launch event Nov. 10 in Pikeville for those seeking more information about the 2016 workshop series. Additional launch events are scheduled Nov. 17 at 4 p.m. EST in Louisville at The Green Building, 732 E. Market St., and Nov. 18 at 3 p.m. in Lexington at The Plantory, 501 W. 6th St., Suite 250.

For more information, or to apply, go to