153 South Lexington Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801
Contact: Shaw Canale, Chief Executive Officer
Mountain BizWorks' mission is to build economic opportunity through business development and capital. Our organization strives to meet the needs of its clients through in-depth business planning courses, ongoing technical support and advanced training, and small business loans up to $50,000. Mountain BizWorks' programs and services help entrepreneurs to demystify and overcome the difficulties associated with starting or expanding a business.
- Mountain BizWorks' Programs:
- Foundations Business Planning Program: Participants in this eight-week 24-hour program, offered in both English and Spanish, discuss, research, and write a complete business plan while building business skills and reducing their fears of self-employment.
- Growth through Objectives (GO) Program: Mountain BizWorks' intensive level of technical assistance provides at least ten hours of one-on-one consultation over a 3-month period. As a contractual relationship between clients and Mountain BizWorks Business Developers, GO is designed to address businesses’ specific needs.
- Loan Program: Clients can access small business capital up to $50,000 through our sister organization, Mountain BizCapital. Once the loan is approved, the term, rates, and fees are created to accommodate the clients' ability to pay.
- Membership Program: Members can attend advanced trainings, networking events and business alliance gatherings. They can also receive prorated consultations with attorneys and accountants, among other benefits.
Mountain BizWorks puts particular emphasis on reaching out to low-income individuals, women, rural residents, Latinos, African Americans, Native Americans, and the un- and under-employed. Mountain BizWorks serves the 12 western-most counties of this largely rural, underserved area of southern Appalachia including: Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, Polk, Swain, and Transylvania. These counties are counted by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) as part of Appalachia. Mountain BizWorks' programs are designed to help lower income individuals start, expand, and sustain small businesses giving them the opportunity to become self-sufficient.
- 2008 Results:
- 988 clients used our training and lending programs.
- 65% were low-income, 61% were women, 22% were minorities.
- 64 loans were made, totaling almost $1,002,000.
- 159 businesses were created, 310 businesses were expanded.
- 292 jobs were created, 780 were sustained.
A creative, hard-working woman, Rachel Sylvester, sought a solution to her own health problems by moving to Western North Carolina and learning about alternative medicines. She attended a school for natural healing and discovered many truths, including that our skin is the largest organ of our body, yet we often choose to use skin products on it like petroleum jelly, which is essentially gasoline. Her studies and her own path to health helped her to decide to create a business making and selling body care products made with 100% synthetic free, earth friendly ingredients. "Mountain BizWorks Foundations class helped me to focus on building my business with a strong business plan and on strengthening my marketing and financial planning." Full Story