Longwood receives GO grant

Published 6:00 am Friday, March 26, 2021

A major new grant award announced recently will lay the foundation for a long-term economic recovery from the pandemic’s effects by focusing on entrepreneurship training, youth entrepreneurship and increasing access to capital.

The GO Virginia state board announced a grant award of $449,000 to the SOVA Innovation Hub and the Longwood University Office of Community and Economic Development for a training initiative that will build capacity and connections. The two-year program will train 200 entrepreneurs. Dozens of new businesses and jobs are expected to be created as a result. Businesses in the region will also be positioned for more investment and small business financing opportunities which will spur more growth.

The $449,000 in GO Virginia funds will be paired with matching and leveraged funds for a total project budget of $819,000 to cover training costs, outreach, planning, consulting and administration. This project will benefit all 15 Region 3 localities. Also included are the public school systems in Cumberland and Prince Edward counties where youth entrepreneurship programs will initially be targeted.

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The project is one piece of a larger strategy designed to spur economic growth, the Region 3 Entrepreneur and Innovation Investment Strategy. Developed by the team of Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC) and the Longwood Office of Community and Economic Development (LOCED), the strategy provides a framework to utilize resources to invest in projects that support business formation in the region.

“We are so thankful for the support of GO Virginia, SOVA Innovation Hub and all of our partners in this,” Sheri McGuire, Longwood’s associate vice president for Community and Economic Development said. “As an institution, Longwood is strategically working to build connections, partnerships and educational outreach to reshape the future of our regional economy. This collaboration will leverage the experience and grassroots partnerships of our Small Business Development Center in successfully supporting new and innovative business opportunities in our region.”