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Entrepreneurs’ Cafe Seeks Applications from Eastern Panhandle Entrepreneurs

By Staff | Sep 12, 2014

Eastern Panhandle entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply to be presenters at the Oct. 2, 2014, Entrepreneurs’ Cafe micro-funding event at the Purple Iris. Cafe programs provide micro cash awards to entrepreneurs. The deadline to apply is Thurs., Sept. 18. Applications are available at www.facebook.com/EntreprenuersCafeShepherdstownEasternPanhandle or by emailing David Rosen at rosend@gmail.com.

Cafe programs provide small cash awards to entrepreneurs. Five business owners will be selected from the pool of applicants to “pitch” their idea or project for funding. At the end of the program on Oct. 2, all attendees vote on their favorite project. The more people who attend, the larger the prize. The winning entrepreneur receives the proceeds from admission price, raffle tickets and sponsorships. The host for the Oct. 2 Cafe is the Eastern Panhandle Entrepreneurs Forum (EPEF).

“The program is part of a long-term plan to develop the entrepreneurial climate in the Eastern Panhandle,” said David Rosen, one of the Cafe’s volunteer coordinators. “In the two years the Cafe has helped small business owners, we have awarded more than $15,000 to local businesses.”

The Oct. 2 event begins at 5:30 p.m. Admission is $10 and includes heavy hors d’oeuvres.

Close to 60 people attended the last EPEF-hosted cafe in February. The winner was Sarah Schottler, owner of Blakeley Street Bakery in Charles Town, a small, independent cookie bakery that produces internationally known “edible little works of art” for any occasion. Schottler used her cash prize to help fund a commercial kitchen and improve her website’s online shopping function.

Organized by the economic development authorities in Jefferson, Berkeley and Morgan counties, the EPEF is a non-profit organization of individuals in the business and technical communities that promotes the creation and growth of innovative new businesses in the Eastern Panhandle. Programs are held the first Thursday of each month (except July), rotating between venues in the three counties. The organization is based on the premise that the future economic vitality of our region comes in large part from the emergence of new businesses through entrepreneurship. In order for this to occur, there must be an entrepreneurial culture, a pool of resources to draw from, and successful models to follow.

Business owners may reserve a vendor table for $30. Other sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Amy Ruth Allen at epef@jcda.net or 304-728-3255.