Accelerating Appalachia Chosen for BALLE’s Local Economy Fellowship

National Business Alliance Names Third Cohort of Localists Leading the New Economy

balle fellows

Accelerating Appalachia Chosen for BALLE’s Local Economy Fellowship

BALLE (the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies) today announced its third cohort of BALLE Local Economy Fellows – 17 leaders from across North America chosen as the top pioneers of the Local Economy Movement. BALLE Local Economy Fellows participate in an intimate and rigorous 18-month leadership immersion program that further strengthens their capacity for transformative systems change in their communities. Locally, Accelerating Appalachia’s founder, Sara Day Evans, has been selected to represent Appalachia; the profile can be found here: https://bealocalist.org/sara-day-evans.

“Accelerating Appalachia connects innovative nature-based businesses, investors and mentors aligned with people, place and prosperity,” says founder, Sara Day Evans.

Accelerating Appalachia’s next intensive session will commence in Winter of 2014, with applications for admission starting in September 2014. They will bring in seasoned entrepreneurs and proven practitioners to serve as business development mentors, and coach entrepreneurs around pitches for funding and expanding networks. Accelerating Appalachia is responding to success and growing demand from it’s inaugural session in 2013:

  • Entrepreneurs – 100+ businesses applied to inaugural session in 2013, 5 of 10 in final cohort received investment, $500,000 received across businesses seeking investment
  • Investors/Mentors – More than 40 participated in our inaugural session, in-kind support of $1.5m, development of fund for small to medium investments from individuals in Appalachia and around the world
  • Communities – More than 30 jobs created, at least 5 Appalachian communities seeking our services in 4 states after just one year
  • Youth/Students – Currently working with two Appalachian universities (Warren Wilson College in Western North Carolina and Berea College in Kentucky) and several more higher education institutions are interested in working with ACAP
  • Women – 75% of the accelerator applicants were women-led businesses
  • Media – Great coverage from Bloomberg Businessweek, Capital Institute, Upstart Biz Journal, Triple Pundit and others

Individually, each 2014 BALLE Local Economy Fellow is a proven leader and innovative local economy connector – someone who represents, convenes, and influences whole communities of local businesses from Boston to New Orleans to Minneapolis. Combined, they are a diverse group of leaders who represent the cutting edge of social entrepreneurship incubation, community capital cultivation, and social justice.

“These challenging times require a different type of leader who can create the conditions for a new economy to emerge. Developing this type of leader is the purpose of the BALLE Local Economy Fellowship,” said Michelle Long, executive director of BALLE. “With the transformational leadership development, skills and tools, and connections these leaders will receive as part of the fellowship, BALLE Local Economy Fellows will be poised to democratize opportunity, ownership and the economy, and bring real prosperity to more people; fundamentally fixing our global economy from the ground up.”

BALLE’s Local Economy Fellowship began in 2011 with a vision of creating an interconnected network of local economies that work in harmony with nature to support a healthy, prosperous, and joyful life for all people. Within a decade, BALLE plans to connect and support 250 communities of practice across North America that bolster their local economies from within – investing in the people and businesses rooted right where they are.

“The combination of personal transformation work and concrete support in planning local economies has accelerated our work in ways that I had no context for before this fellowship,” said 2013 BALLE Local Economy Fellow and Green For All Executive Director Nikki Silvestri. “I’ve gotten better at economic development and I’ve gotten better at being a leader.”

The new group of fellows joins the 2011 and 2013 cohorts, bringing the total number of BALLE Local Economy Fellows to 42 leaders representing more than 34,000 businesses and reaching over one million people. The program has already seen profound, lasting outcomes within just a few years, such as $4.28 million raised by January 2014 in new funding that Fellows directly attribute to connections or skills developed through the fellowship and 74 instances of collaboration.

The new group of BALLE Local Economy Fellows were selected through referrals and support from some of the most respected and well-known organizations in the field: NoVo Foundation, Echoing Green, Ashoka, New World Foundation, Rutgers Social Innovation Institute, Social Venture Network and Surdna Foundation. BALLE’s central partner in Local Economy Fellowship content development and program oversight is the Ventana Group, world-renowned leaders in transformative leadership development and systems change.

“We believe that an economic and cultural transformation to create real prosperity will require supporting emerging innovators,” said Jennifer Buffett of the NoVo Foundation. “This is why our partnership with BALLE to identify, connect, nourish, and illuminate today’s top local economy leaders is a key part of our strategy.”

An approach to economic development that fosters local business ownership and sustainability isn’t new, and is becoming more mainstream every day. From Economic Development Quarterly to Harvard Business Review, traditional economic voices are certifying that communities with a higher density and diversity of local, independently owned businesses have more wealth, jobs, and resiliency. The aim of the BALLE Local Economy Fellowship is nothing less than a new economy built on fairness, cooperation, and sustainability.

“BALLE Local Economy Fellows aren’t waiting for big government or big business to step in and fix all that ails a dying system – instead they are working to change economies right where they BALLE Local Economy Fellows Announcement are, starting with the tools and resources they have: human capital, resourcefulness, and an entrepreneurial spirit,” said Shawn Escoffery, Director of the Strong Local Economies Program for the Surdna Foundation.


Congratulations to the 2014 BALLE Local Economy Fellows!

1. Name: Jay Bad Heart Bull
Place: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Organization: Native American Community Development Institute
Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/jay-bad-heart-bull

2. Name: Andrea Chen
Place: New Orleans, Louisiana
Organization: Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation
Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/andrea-chen-fellow

3. Name: Jose Corona
Place: Oakland, California
Organization: Inner City Advisors
Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/jose-corona

4. Name: Alfa Demmellash
Place: Jersey City, New Jersey
Organization: Rising Tide Capital
Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/alfa-demmellash

5. Name: Steven Dubb
Place: Takoma Park, Maryland
Organization: The Democracy Collaborative
Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/steve-dubb-fellow

6. Name: Sara Day Evans
Place: Asheville, North Carolina
Organization: Prosperity Collective and Accelerating Appalachia
Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/sara-day-evans

7. Name: Crystal German
Place: Cincinnati, Ohio
Organization: Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber
Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/crystal-german

8. Name: Eric Griego
Place: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Organization: Fast Forward Consulting
Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/eric-griego

9. Name: Robert “Bob” Junk
Place: Lemont Furnace, Pennsylvania
Organization: Fay-Penn Economic Development Council
Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/bob-junk

10. Name: Ramon Leon
Place: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Organization: Latino Economic Development Center
Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/ramon-leon-fellow

11. Name: Adele London
Place: New Orleans, Louisiana
Organization: Good Work Network
Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/adele-london

12. Name: Jessica Norwood
Place: Mobile, Alabama
Organization: Emerging ChangeMakers Network
Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/jessica-norwood

13. Name: Kelly Ramirez
Place: Providence, Rhode Island
Organization: Social Enterprise Greenhouse
Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/kelly-ramirez

14. Name: Eunieka Rogers-Sipp
Place: Stone Mountain, Georgia
Organization: Sustainable Rural Regenerative Enterprises for Families (SURREF)/SURREF Enterprises, Inc.
Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/euneika-rogers-sipp-fellow

15. Name: Aaron Tanaka
Place: Boston, Massachusetts
Organization: Boston Impact Initiative / Center for Economic Democracy
Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/aaron-tanaka-fellow

16. Name: Carlos Velasco
Place: Phoenix, Arizona
Organization: Fuerza Local Arizona
Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/carlos-velasco-fellow

17. Name: Donovan Woollard
Place: Vancouver, British Columbia
Organization: Transom Enterprises / RADIUS Ventures
Full profile: https://bealocalist.org/donovan-wollard


 

BALLE is a non-profit organization focused on creating real prosperity by connecting leaders, spreading solutions that work, and driving investment toward local economies. BALLE equips entrepreneurs with tools and strategies for local success, and provides a national forum for the most visionary local economy leaders and funders to connect, build their capacity and innovate.

BALLE is based out of the Impact Hub Oakland.