- Brooke Lunsford
Our Plan to Create Jobs in WV!
Victory for Our Region sees small businesses in West Virginia as one of the main drivers of economic growth, poverty reduction and job creation and wishes to significantly grow the contribution of small businesses to the region’s GDP over the next 3 years. However, with approximately 4 out of 7 new small businesses failing within the first year of establishment, the failure rate of small businesses remains a challenge. To achieve the envisioned economic growth, small businesses in West Virginia therefore require more support to improve their success rates.
The Victory for Our Region Business Clinic will assist college students Marshall University and other interested people in the city of Huntington, West Virginia, to start and run their own insurance businesses. Huntington is a medium-sized city located in the state of West Virginia. With a population of 47,079 people and 28 constituent neighborhoods, Huntington is the second largest community in West Virginia with slightly less population than the state capital of Charleston. It is also the home of Marshall University (with an enrollment of 13,000 students) and many consider it a college community.
The Victory for Our Region Business Clinic will target these students by providing four distinct training courses as well as ongoing business mentorship. The courses help students to establish, maintain and grow their businesses successfully after graduation. Training will be conducted on the campus of Marshall University and in the offices of Victory for Our Region, which will serve as a business incubator until such time as new business owners are able to branch out on their own. To maintain uniformity of learning and support communication, laptops will be offered to each participant.
The training is expected to have a direct impact on 110 aspiring entrepreneurs as each learns about, creates, manages and grows their own business in the period between January 2020 and December 2022.The training is expected to cost $28,916 per student (including a small salary for one year) and we expect to enroll 110 students for a total cost of $3,180,883. The clinic will accommodate 15-21 students per three-week cohort and we anticipate having six cohorts.
Funding is required for the training, mentorship as well as the continued sustainability of the clinic to build on and scale-up its successful track record.