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Making America Regenerative Again

Accelerating Appalachia founder Sara Day Evans was interviewed by Erin Axelrod for The Lift Economy Podcast in an episode fittingly titled “Making America Regenerative Again.” Erin is a Partner at LIFT Economy, helping to accelerate the spread of climate-beneficial businesses, specializing in businesses that address critical soil and water regeneration. LIFT’s mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all people.

 

Listen to Sara Day talk about her passion and inspiration for the accelerator program here: http://www.lifteconomy.com/blog/2017/11/21/sara-day-evans-making-america-regenerative-again

Touring Appalachia with Lush Cosmetics

We are bouncin’ back with exciting news in 2018! Lush Cosmetics North America, the globe’s most ethically sourced cosmetics company has just announced support for our new regenerative business curriculum “Building Soil and Soul”! So, we hit the road. We traveled our LUSHOUS Appalachian region from Kentucky to North Carolina and points in between with Lush Cosmetics North America to visit farmers, growers, researchers, and nature-based businesses for a #LUSHAppalachia journey. We are so honored to share the beauty and resiliency of one of the most biologically diverse regions on the planet – Appalachia. We are grateful to Lush for their support for our new regenerative business curriculum “Building Soil and Soul”. And, we’re excited about the possibilities in helping them source small batches of raw goods from Appalachian growers! Stay tuned!

Photos: Dayna Reggero and Erin Bridges

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Accelerating Appalachia open for applications in fall of 2018

However, we take inquiries for businesses who are seeking guidance and investment year-round! If you have any questions, please contact Sara Day Evans, saraday@acceleratingapplachia.org.

 

Is your business a fit?… 

Accelerating Appalachia connects nature-based businesses from the rural and urban hubs of central and southern Appalachia to help expand their customer base, supply chains, peer, mentor and potential investor network. Nature-based businesses and entrepreneurs in the following sectors are encouraged to apply:

  • Farming
  • Food
  • Forest products (natural building) and non-timber forest products (ginseng, mushrooms, fruit & nut trees)
  • Fiber/Textiles
  • Botanicals/Wellness
  • Other innovative triple bottom-line businesses with special consideration for innovators and entrepreneurs from marginalized populations.

We are particularly excited to announce our partnership with Kiva Zip. Kiva is a platform that crowdfunds micro loans and is offering 0% interest loans up to $10,000 to farmers in the United States and gives the business incredible exposure. Businesses in the agriculture industry can have difficulty fitting within the terms of formal banking institutions; Kiva better meets the needs of farmers and their financial needs.

 

 

Announcing Accelerating Appalachia’s 2016 Businesses

First Annual HempX Asheville

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We are so excited to partner on HempX Asheville! HempX is the first festival in North Carolina with a focus on educating the public on the multiple uses and diversity of products that come from industrial hemp. All proceeds benefit Accelerating Appalachia. Join us at Highland Brewing for two days of talks, hemp foods, networking, and of course, live music and beer.

Neighborhood Economics

We will be in Louisville, Kentucky November 12-13. Accelerating Appalachia founder Sara Day Evans will be speaking alongside international thought leaders and local change makers at Neighborhood Economics:

We are coming together from a wide variety of sectors to look at economic development within a relational, community oriented perspective. Our goal is to change the story of the economy from empire to community.If you want to be part of amazing conversations between local change makers learning how to get it done together, and participate at the ground level of a collective learning network, then you need to join us for this unique summit of action oriented change-makers.

neighborhood economics

While in

Hemp! The future of Appalachia.

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.

Appalachian Food Summit

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’s Sustainable Business Course at Warren Wilson

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.

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