From financial bumps in the road to the worlds of marketing and social media, getting a business started is no easy task. But small business drives our economy in West Virginia because, according to federal statistics, 97 percent of businesses in the state are classified as small businesses.
This year, West Virginia Executive (WVE) magazine has unveiled Ignite the Mountain State, a small business competition that focuses on easing the growing pains, if you will, of small business. In 2015, WVE will select a winning West Virginia-based startup business—open two years or fewer—to receive a prize package filled with beneficial resources.
Editor-In-Chief Kensie Hamilton Fauber joined the small business committee for the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, and through her work there, she has been driven to create more opportunities for the smaller members of the business community.
“The purpose of Ignite the Mountain State is to showcase what outstanding small businesses have to offer while providing the tools to help them make their business a success,” says Hamilton Fauber. “At WVE, our goal is to support all types of Mountain State business, and our intention with Ignite is to foster new businesses and watch them spread like wildfire. We hope this competition can be a catalyst for change in West Virginia’s small business community.”
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The prize package for the winner is chock full of resources focused on boosting marketability of the startup. Professional headshots, graphic design and writing time, small business training resources from the West Virginia Small Business Development Center, an advertising contract with West Virginia Executive magazine, and an unveiling reception in the winner’s hometown are all included.
“Holding a party in the winning business’s hometown is something we take seriously and are looking forward to doing,” says Hamilton Fauber. “We want to celebrate the winner in the community that made it and show off the diversity of outstanding small businesses in West Virginia. The startups who are applying come from every corner of the state, and we’re determined to take a good party to anywhere that will have us.”
Through this year’s inaugural Ignite the Mountain State selection, WVE hopes to set a positive model for the state’s business development.
“As a magazine that covers business in West Virginia, we ultimately feel it’s our responsibility to do our part in making the state better for those who work here,” says Hamilton Fauber.