Cultivating Entrepreneurship in Southwest Virginia |Small Business Conference and Entrepreneur Express

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | September 1, 2022 | Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with U.S. Small Business Administration

Richlands, Virginia – September 1, 2022 – The Southwest Virginia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network is pleased to announce the Cultivating Entrepreneurship in Southwest Virginia Conference, which will be offered in partnership with GO Virginia, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC), Virginia Community Capital (VCC), Virginia Tourism Corporation, People, Inc. and Truist Foundation.  The Network includes the Blue Ridge Crossroads, Mountain Empire, Southwest Virginia, and Virginia Highlands Centers. The conference will be hosted on Tuesday, September 13 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Wednesday, September 14, 2022, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center located at 1 Partnership Circle, Abingdon, Virginia.

The two-day event will begin on September 13th with a technology-focused early-stage funding discussion in the form of an interactive watch party from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Following this session will be a networking and capital connection event from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Entrepreneurs, community organizations, and investors will be able to connect, share ideas, and grow the region’s innovative ecosystem. Tuesday’s events are made possible through a grant awarded to Valleys Innovation Council (VIC), an affiliate of Verge, from Truist Foundation.

The Small Business Conference will take place on September 14th from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and is tailored to businesses of all sizes and stages. Lunch is included. Breakout sessions include Labor, Doing Business with the Government, Marketing, Selling through Amazon, Taxation, Credit Counseling Resources and Tourism Resources, and feature Dr. Erik R. Pages, President and Founder of EntreWorks Consulting, as the keynote speaker.

Dr. Pages is a widely published author, whose works include the book Responding to Defense Dependence, and more than 175 reports and journal articles featured in national and international media outlets.  He has led more than 250 economic development strategy workshops and speaks nationally on issues of community and economic development.

Entrepreneur Express is scheduled 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on September 14th.  Topics covered include determining business viability, financing, marketing, technology, and more. In addition to vital skill-building, entrepreneurs and business owners can broaden their networks by connecting with service providers, state agencies, and other business owners. The rebooted workshop will include refreshed content and information about the latest grants, loan products, and support services available to participants.


REGISTER: Those interested in attending these FREE events in Abingdon on September 13th and September 14th must register in advance. To register for Tuesday, Sept. 13th, use this link:  To register for the Small Business Conference on Wednesday, Sept. 14th, use this link: The Entrepreneur Express registration will be held on site the day of the event.

For questions or assistance with registration please contact the Southwest Virginia SBDC at



The Virginia SBDC Network provides no-cost individualized advising for start-up to established businesses.

The Truist Foundation is committed to Truist Financial Corporation’s (NYSE: TFC) purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities. Established in 2020, the foundation makes strategic investments in nonprofit organizations to help ensure the communities it serves have more opportunities for a better quality of life. The Truist Foundation’s grants and activities focus on building career pathways to economic mobility and strengthening small businesses. Learn more at