HICKORY — Catawba Valley Community College is celebrating the launch of its latest initiative to drive local economic development through entrepreneurship.

The initiative, called Startup Catawba, was created to help local entrepreneurs quickly and easily learn new skills, connect to support programs and resources, plug into the local ecosystem, and find inspiration from others.

Startup Catawba’s resource-rich website, startupcatawba.com, gives entrepreneurs access to a free, hyper-local digital portal providing:

» Free on-demand training modules on essential startup topics.

» Easy access to the Small Business Center at CVCC.

» Entrepreneurial support program directory.

» Local entrepreneurial event calendars.

» Inspiring stories of local entrepreneurs, mentors and more.

» A private community messaging and collaboration platform.

Startup Catawba is CVCC’s latest major investment in empowering entrepreneurs and business owners in the Catawba Valley.

“Instead of moving to larger cities, local entrepreneurs who want to start businesses where they want to live now have a one-stop shop for the resources they need,” said Garrett Hinshaw, president of Catawba Valley Community College. “Startup Catawba is another strategic commitment by the college to advance entrepreneurship and empower the next generation of local business leaders.”

Startup Catawba is one of 10 similar initiatives launching throughout western North Carolina this year, each headed by community colleges and their presidents who are members of the N.C. Rural Community College Alliance.

The alliance was formed by Hinshaw in 2019 to align the interests of a group of bold leaders who are united in the purpose of activating and accelerating rural entrepreneurship.

Startup Catawba was developed in partnership with CVCC strategic partner, Supportedly, and made possible through the support of the Belk Endowment and NC IDEA.

Visit https://startupcatawba.com for more information on Startup Catawba and https://supportedly.com/startupyourecosystem to learn more about the regional initiative.

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