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  • Writer's pictureAshley Wenger

What is an entrepreneur in the Shenandoah Valley?

Updated: Nov 1, 2022

National Entrepreneurship Month

November is National Entrepreneurship Month and we here at SCCF want to celebrate the dreamers, doers, visionaries, and tinkerers in the Shenandoah Valley! National Entrepreneurship Month was established in 2016 to recognize and celebrate the entrepreneurs that support our economy, in coordination with Global Entrepreneurship Week which takes place every November.

Terms like "startup" and "entrepreneurship" conjure up images of Silicon Valley, hoodie-wearing coders in their garages, tech businesses, and global powerhouses like Microsoft or Amazon; entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos have become the sort-of “poster child” for entrepreneurship. But having worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs across the Shenandoah Valley over the last eight years, we know there's a lot more to the entrepreneurial journey of a Valley entrepreneur, and they’re more diverse than you may think! There are new businesses and entrepreneurs of all kinds popping up from Winchester down to Buena Vista. According to the Virginia Small Business Economic Profile from the U.S. Small Business Administration, in 2021 there were 783,977 small businesses in Virginia, which made up over 99% of businesses in Virginia! What’s even more astounding is that small business employees accounted for 46.6% of all Virginia employees! These are exciting statistics when you consider all of the creativity, innovation, and employment opportunities being cultivated by these businesses.

Throughout the month of November (and beyond!), we want to share the stories of the courageous and innovative doers that start and grow businesses across the region: From food trucks to interior design, from cleaning businesses to axe-throwing warehouses - Valley founders run businesses in every industry and we want to give you a peek behind the scenes of what it takes!

I Am an Entrepreneur: A Sneak Peek

In Buena Vista, student entrepreneurs are applying their coursework outside of the classroom, and starting their own businesses! Starting a business is time-consuming enough as it is. Starting a business while you’re a student in school is even busier still. But starting a business while you’re playing a collegiate sport, and then opening a second location is on another level! Sebastian Noble, the owner of Axe-Warehouse, has set the bar high but doesn’t seem to be afraid of heights. Learn more about Axe-Warehouse later this month!

In Harrisonburg, entrepreneurs come together to support and help each other be successful, “A big part of our success was being a part of the Harrisonburg community, it was like they all just wanted us to succeed. We would never have wanted to do this anywhere else, it had to be Harrisonburg,” said the owners of SageBird Ciderworks. Learn more about SageBird later this year!

Don’t Miss Out!

Over the next month, we will introduce you to different entrepreneurs, and discuss what it means to take the startup leap in the Shenandoah Valley, how building a business here is unique to their journey, and why the Valley is the place they choose to plant their roots. Follow along via Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and our monthly newsletter. Celebrate National Entrepreneurship Month by meeting entrepreneurs in your community, following them on social media, and buying from small businesses as the holiday season approaches!


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