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Announcing Accelerating Appalachia’s 2019 Businesses

We are honored to announce the Nature-Based Businesses selected for Accelerating Appalachia 2019! These businesses are supporting a regenerative economy built on the values of soil and soul. Program participants will travel to Kentucky, Ohio, and North Carolina to learn, grow, and connect with thought leaders and communities. Accelerating Appalachia has been providing accelerator services to Nature-Based Businesses for years, growing one of the world’s most diverse economies focused on food, clothing, shelter and wellness. We are thrilled to be a part of this cohort’s journey.


Ballew Estates

Richmond, KY

Tiffany Bellfield https://www.facebook.com/ballewestates


HomeGrown HideAways

Berea, KY

Jessa Turner
http://www.homegrownhideaways.org


Kentucky Green Grass

Harrodsburg, KY

Rachael Edmistonhttps://www.kentuckygreengrass.farm


Madison County Community Learning Centers

Marshall, NC

Deborah Delislehttps://www.madisoncclc.org


Moonlight Meat Processing

Williamsburg, KY

Anne Bays
https://moonlight-meat-processing.business.site


No Taste Like Home

Asheville, NC

Rebekah Joplinghttps://notastelikehome.org


Rachel DesRocher, Incubator Kitchen Collective and Grateful Grahams

Newport, KY

Rachel DesRochers
https://www.racheldesrochers.com


LEARN MORE about Accelerating Appalachia’s 2019 Nature-Based Businesses

Apply Now for Accelerating Appalachia 2019

2019 Applications are Now Open!

Are you a Nature-Based Business (respectful of nature’s wisdom) in food, beverage, textile, shelter, wellness and the outdoors looking to expand? Do you buy your raw goods such as grains, botanicals, produce, proteins, fibers, forest products from small growers? Join us for Accelerating Appalachia 2019! Applications are now being accepted for  our new program, Building Soil and Soil. Nature-Based Businesses are encouraged to apply that support keeping multiple small growers and farmers on the land to improve soil, retain water, sequester carbon, and help communities. The application deadline has been extended to March 27.

Accelerating Appalachia, the world’s first Nature-Based Business Accelerator, envisions and supports a regenerative and inclusive economy built on the values of soil and soul. Accelerating Appalachia has been providing accelerator services to Nature-Based Businesses for years, growing one of the world’s most diverse economies focused on food, clothing, shelter and wellness. Graduates of the program leave with sound business practices, concrete and tangible assets and tools to move their business models forward, and a lasting network that supports them beyond the programmatic sessions.

About Building Soil and Soul 2019

The Accelerating Appalachia program brings together mentors, peers, thought leaders and nature-based businesses over 8 weeks in the spring from April – May. Content will be delivered over a cluster of 3 day sessions in Kentucky, Ohio, and North Carolina: April 16-18 in Louisville, KY, May 2-4 in Asheville, NC, and May 28-30 in Cincinnati, OH. Intensive sessions will be entire days, while additional curriculum content will be delivered over segments of training days. Each session will include pitch practice with the program culminating in a pitch presentation to customers, investors, and relevant networks. Participants will be introduced to businesses in each of the host regions to further their networks and enrich their understanding of implemented regenerative practices.

As in past programming, content will be delivered with an Accelerating Appalachia nature-based business development coach, seasoned in working with businesses in a regenerative, inclusive framework. Expert advisors and mentors will join the program for relevant content areas, including 100 hours with experts in holistic business development, finance, accounting, new tax laws for small businesses, inclusive business practices, value chain development, legal structures, understanding investment, and more. These guest instructors not only deliver content, but advise each business, often developing lasting peer and mentor relationships with Accelerating Appalachia participants. To round out the program, each year, participants can receive continued support from Accelerating Appalachia, depending on their needs. Participant individuals and enterprise consistently report that one of the most valuable aspects of participation in the Accelerating Appalachia program is the connection made with their peers and mentors.

Participants will learn how to best support causes and movements facing their communities and our world, but also spend time reflecting on personal and enterprise practices to further their interest in building stronger communities for all.

How to Apply

We have partnered with F6S, the largest founder and startup community, to provide a seamless application process. Please visit here to apply. You will be asked to set up an team/startup profile to apply, but you will not be judged on your profile – we will be reviewing applications based on your responses to the Accelerating Appalachia application questions. Also, you can choose to opt out of F6S emails and delete your profile after the application process if you wish or you can keep your account open for additional opportunities and networking.

Learn More

Nature-based businesses and entrepreneurs from across the globe, but especially from Appalachia and the southeastern U.S. are encouraged to apply. We will consider other innovative triple bottom-line businesses with special consideration for entrepreneurs where mining, logging, textile and tobacco/farming industries are on the decline. We encourage veterans to apply. We encourage all to apply and do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, color, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, parental status, or physical or mental disability.

The cost of the program is $1750, with lodging, breakfast, and lunch provided during sessions. Scholarships are available, contact us to learn more.

We encourage you to browse our website to learn more about our team, our accelerator graduates, press, advisers, and more. Connect with us on Facebook @ Accelerating Appalachia. And, contact us directly if you have questions: Sara Day Evans, Founding Director, saraday@acceleratingappalachia.org.


“The visionary women who run Accelerating Appalachia definitely make sure it lives up to the name ‘accelerator’,” says Grow Journey founders Susan and Aaron von Frank. “During the few months of the program, our business probably moved forward two years as far as planning, financial projections, team building, etc. ACAP forced us to get tightly organized, while providing the tools and resources to do so. We’ve also been introduced to a wide range of prospective impact investors that we might not have met otherwise. We can’t recommend it highly enough to other nature-based businesses who are ready to accelerate.”


APPLY NOW


 

Event! Eat Your Values at The Greene Space w WNYC

 


CHANGE EVERY DAY: EAT YOUR VALUES

Tuesday, February 26, 2019, 7:00 PM

Hosted by WNYC’s Shumita Basu

Guests include our own Sara Day Evans, founding director of Accelerating Appalachia, plus Rachel Armstrong, founder and executive director of Farm Commons, and Jeffrey Neal, founder of Loop Closing.

What do composting or legal contracts have to do with the last meal you ate? Why should we all have insight into the businesses growing, producing and sourcing the food you eat? Learn how all of these facets work together toward a truly just food system for all. Bring your ideas and curiosity. Insights will inspire and we’ll come together for a better world.

Tickets: $15

Duration: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Venue: The Greene Space

44 Charlton Street, New York, NY
(corner of Varick Street)

There is hope in change. In this special partnership with Echoing Green, you’ll discover how you can harness your day-to-day choices to create a collective transformation. Over four events at The Greene Space, leading entrepreneurs, engineers, organizers and activists working from Appalachia to New York City will share their incredible work and the steps they’re taking to make the world more sustainable, safe and equitable. From decisions about what you eat, the apps you use, or where and how you spend your money, these actions are part of the building blocks of social movements that are creating a fairer and more sustainable world.

TICKETS


 

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

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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.

 

 

2015 Pitch Party with Judy Wicks

The 2015 Accelerating Appalachia nature-based businesses will be presenting at the Pitch Party in Asheville on May 14th. We are so proud of this incredible group of graduates in food, farming, eco-services, seeds, botanical essences, natural building and games! Our keynote is the fabulous Judy Wicks, thought leader in growing good economies, co-founder of Be A Localist Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) and reading from her book, “Good Morning Beautiful Business”. Emcees for the evening, from Our Southern Community, are the lovely Michelle Smith and the handsome Ned Doyle! Join us for a meaningful and fun-filled evening with yummy local appetizers and cash bar. Tickets available now.

Accelerating Agriculture with Hemp

Accelerating Appalachia is excited about making real connections throughout Appalachia.

Smiling Hara Tempeh, LLC in North Carolina is campaigning to create the first-ever Hempeh, soy-free tempeh, with hemp from Kentucky’s Growing Warriors.

From the Smiling Hara kickstarter campaign:

Sarah Yancey and Chad Oliphant started Smiling Hara (which translates to “happy belly”) in 2009 with the intention of providing an organic, non-GMO and locally sourced tempeh to customers in the Southeast. The hemp seeds and beans in Hempeh will be sourced from Growing Warriors, a working farm in Kentucky that teaches military veterans how to grow their own food. If brought to market, a portion of the profits from Hempeh will be donated back to Growing Warriors. Brothers and military veterans Mike Lewis and Fred-Curtis Lewis started Growing Warriors Project to address the needs of other veterans transitioning to civilian life.

hempehSara Day Evans of Accelerating Appalachia, with Chad Oliphant, Smiling Hara Tempeh, and Fred-Curtis Lewis of Growing Warriors.

Read more about Growing Warriors.

Slow Money Event in Asheville

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