Opportunity SWVA is the latest economic development organization to utilize the embedding function of SourceLink Virginia to the enhance access to information about business assistance services to entrepreneurs in their region. This coalition of 25 small business support and community development organizations was formed in 2012 - as “My SWVA Opportunity” - to champion the Blueprint for Entrepreneurial Growth & Economic Prosperity in Southwest Virginia. It is hosted by the University of Virginia’s College at Wise.
The initiative serves the vast landscape of Virginia’s southwestern region, from the Coalfields to the New River Valley. Over the past few decades, the public and private sectors have made significant investments in broadband, research facilities, and a wide array of cultural and recreational amenities to revitalize the area as fertile ground for new and expanding ventures.
According to the organization, “Opportunity SWVA is piloting the way for the region to align resources, highlighting opportunities for entrepreneurs, supporting their efforts, and expanding the spirit they bring to their communities. Through collaborative partnerships, the initiative is working to rally existing and emerging economic and community development efforts to create thriving entrepreneurial communities that will accelerate progress for both new and established ventures.”
By working together to build a more prosperous region, Opportunity SWVA has emerged as a best-practice model of regional collaboration. To date, the initiative has assisted 392 entrepreneurs, invested $65,000 in regional small businesses, and invested $36,000 in regional communities. Becoming the latest SourceLink Virginia regional champion will help complements and expand their activities.