Shepherdstown is one of five communities in West Virginia identified by economic and community development group, Vision Shared, to pilot a program called the Entrepreneurs' Caf. The program aims to provide micro-funding awards to entrepreneurs at the local level. The program is designed to replicate a successful micro-funding program in Huntington, W.Va. called Caf Huntington.
Vision Shared will co-host a caf launch event at The Station in Shepherdstown on Thursday, Sept. 6, beginning at 6 p.m. During the event local entrepreneurs are invited to "pitch" their idea or project for funding. Attendees pay $10 for a meal, the opportunity to hear small business development ideas and vote on their favorite project. The winning entrepreneur receives the proceeds from the purchase of meals and a special cash award provided by Vision Shared for the launch event.
"The success of Caf Huntington and its organizers willingness to help Vision Shared develop a pilot program spurs our ability to facilitate these programs around the state," said Rebecca McPhail Randolph, president of Vision Shared. "We are very excited to introduce this concept in the Eastern Panhandle and underscore the fact that sometimes a little funding makes a big difference for an entrepreneur."
The Entrepreneurs' Caf program is part of a long-term plan to develop the entrepreneurial climate in West Virginia by Vision Shared. In May 2012 the organization released a white paper with recommendations for encouraging economic growth and development through entrepreneurial education and activity. The white paper is available at www.visionshared.com.