At SOCAP 14 in San Francisco, 2500 entrepreneurs, investors, innovators and community leaders from across the globe are coming together to discuss breaking new ground in social impact and Igniting Vibrant Communities.

Check out our video interview with SOCAP co-founder and executive producer, Rosa Lee Harden.

The Nature of Investing discussion was led by Katherine Collins, founder and CEO of Honeybee Capital, Shaun Paul, president and founding partner of Reinventure Capital, and Gregory Wendt, senior wealth advisor and head of west coast office for Stakeholder Capital.

“There is vast potential to create more coherent and regenerative economic activity by examining the ways in which nature creates robust and resilient ecosystems. Investments can be designed with a “whole system,” biomimicry approach that creates processes and products that support the health of the whole. This approach highlights the role that local connection and local engagement play as essential components of any healthy system.”

Accelerating Appalachia is excited to be out west this week representing innovative nature-based businesses from the east.

If you were unable to attend, you can watch SOCAP from Appalachia and beyond on YouTube. Plus, follow the discussion on Twitter at #SOCAP14.

Also, we launched our Twitter account this week! Please stop by and connect with us at AccelAppalachia @Nature_Business.

This week, September 2-5, is the 7th annual flagship SOCAP conference.

SOCAP14 will unite innovators in business, tech, the sharing economy, health, philanthropy, and more to advance environmental and social causes.

Rosa Lee Harden, co-founder and executive producer of SOCAP: Social Capital Markets, talked with Dayna Reggero of Accelerating Appalachia over the winter about bringing together investors and communities to provide support to women entrepreneurs and other innovators who are solving environmental or social problems. Watch:

Follow the #SOCAP14 conversation.

Check out our post on The Nature of Investing at SOCAP.

Accelerating Appalachia co-hosted Slow Money NC: Financing our Foodshed meeting on Sunday, Aug. 24.

“Asheville really stands out in the area of entrepreneurship,” says Hewitt, who cited both the quantity of entrepreneurs in the area and the community’s general support for entrepreneurship as major contributors to Asheville’s food industry excellence.

“Co-hosting the event was Accelerating Appalachia, another power house in community financing for sustainable food businesses. The Asheville-based organization catalyzed six loans its first year of operation.”

– Mountain Xpress

BALLE connects leaders, spreading solutions and attracting investment toward local economies. BALLE Fellows have the privilege to being a part of an 18 month fellowship designed to  give them the resources to better local economies. Accelerating Appalachia founder is proud to be invited to be a BALLE Fellow and participate in the BALLE Conference in California.

At a deeper level, the BALLE community is changing how we think about the purpose of business and the economy.

Through collaboration we identify and spread the most innovative solutions and business models for creating healthier, sustainable, and prosperous communities. And with a growing network of 30,000 local entrepreneurs spanning 80 communities, we are leveraging the collective voice of this movement to drive new investment, scale the best solutions, and harness the power of local, independently owned business to transform the communities where we work and live.

 

Eric Mathis speaking at WHWC launch

Eric Mathis speaking at WHWC launch

 

Accelerating Appalachia showed their support at the launch of the Williamson Health and Wellness Center which is a health innovation hub in Williamson WV. The launch included words from guest speakers from Appalachia and beyond who discussed the value the hub provides to the community. This hub’s goal is to provide free health care to those who can’t afford it while promoting a healthy lifestyle to community members. Williamson is located in Mingo county which in the past has had the highest rate of diabetes in the USA.  The hub is committed to decreasing the diabetes rate in Mingo county. The goal of creating a healthy lifestyle was emphasized through an excellent lunch catered by 34:Ate, a restaurant that is opening soon in Williamson that serves locally produced foods.

Great food by 34:Ate

 Click the link to learn more about the efforts to decrease diabetes in Mingo county: http://mingodiabetes.com/

Startup Product Asheville holds regular events for people who are passionate about product excellence and want to come together to collaborate about what it really takes to produce products. Find out more about Startup Product Asheville, click here!

Growing Warriors EventAccelerating Appalachia participated in the Growing Warriors hemp planting event in Rockcastle County Ky. This is the first hemp crop planted in over 80 years. The farm plans to grow the hemp with the intent to be used in Appalachian based textile products. The event resulted in the state of Kentucky suing the DEA for attempting to prevent the event from continuing. Growing Warriors purchased a 600 acre farm for veterans to live and learn how to farm. Accelerating Appalachia linked Growing Warriors to folks in Appalachia for growing opportunities.

For more on the details of the event check out the article in USA Today:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/05/15/hemp-seeds-detained/9157665/

Watch to learn more about the Growing Warriors and view excerpts from the ceremony:

While in Kentucky Sara Day Evans also attended a meeting at the Lexington Venture Club . There she got to hear Kentucky native Joshua Slayton speak about his failures and eventually success with AngelList.

On Sunday May 18th, Sara Day Evans had the opportunity to attend the inaugural at the Hindman Settlement School in Knott county Ky. The food was excellent and it was a great opportunity to connect with Appalachians in the food industry. Additionally this summit matters because it displayed Appalachian heritage to those outside the region and is an opportunity for tourism in Knott County.

 

YUM!

Check out more at #appfoodsummit on Twitter or Facebook and read more about the event on the following websites:

http://www.southernfoodways.org/of-love-beans-and-pie-luck-in-appalachia/

http://www.wkyt.com/wymt/home/headlines/First-ever-Appalachian-Food-Summit-draws-in-multi-state-visitors-259724331.html

http://www.southernfoodways.org/a-helping-of-gravy-soup-beans/

 

Earlier in the week, Sara Day was at Hindman to speak to Artists as Entrepreneurs conference. Special thanks to Ronni Lundy and Laura Smith who led the event.

Accelerating Appalachia had the exciting opportunity to work this spring with Warren Wilson College in teaching a sustainable business and entrepreneurship course. As the spring semester has wrapped up, most of the students have considered continuing their sustainable business projects or plan to use the skills learned in the course to contribute to other organization in Appalachia. The three businesses created in this course that are continuing to operate include Appalachia Green Interior, an eco-friendly paint service, Sweets from Heaven, which is a healthy foods service and lastly a management-consulting firm used by local businesses like Green Sage Coffeehouse & Cafe in downtown Asheville. Other students who choose to discontinue their projects have gone on to start working in successful organizations like Appalachian Botanical Alliance.

botanical products

Find out more about Warren Wilson College here: http://www.warren-wilson.edu

 

 

 

Sara Day Evans, a sixth generation Kentuckian, tells the story of the people and places that inspired her to found Accelerating Appalachia, a new business accelerator that is nurturing natural and entrepreneurial capital to appropriately scale a post-extractive, regenerative economy in coal country.

Read more in the Capital Institute: Field Guide for Investing in a Regenerative Economy.

field guide

 

 

 

 

 

                                              – Sara Day Evans