ASHLAND, Ky. — A new branch of Shaping Our Appalachia Region is now available for entrepreneurs in the region.
Jared Arnett and Sabrina McWhorter, of SOAR, gave a brief presentation at the Rotary Club meeting on Monday and shared SOAR Innovation, which aims to support the growth of entrepreneurs in Appalachia. Arnett explained that one of the next steps in building the area was through entrepreneurship.
“I think two critical things come out of this,” said Arnett. “One is to push through these difficult economic times in Appalachia and we need to push through this together. We need to have multiple organizations with a common agenda, which is our blueprint for the future. We have to be working on that collectively.”
SOAR Innovation is free for those seeking help with consulting.
“We want to get the next generation of entrepreneurs thinking and realizing (they can) do that here,” said Arnett.
They plan to also have entrepreneur training and bring entrepreneurs together.
“We are looking to build a culture of entrepreneurship,” said Arnett.
They will be sharing stories of entrepreneurs in the Appalachian region to raise the level of awareness in Kentucky.
“It’s terrifying,” McWhorter said, “especially when you don’t know. Being in rural Appalachia, it is difficult, but finding resources like the small business development or us center its crucial when you own a small business you make all the mistakes. You learn first-hand. It’s a trial-and-error process.”
McWhorter will meet one on one with entrepreneurs in Boyd, Carter and Greenup counties. She will consult with those people and visit their businesses. The group will refer them to contacts they have to help them with specific parts of their businesses.