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Local Entrepreneurs Complete Business Certification Program

Oct 11, 2013

Contact: Valerie Harper
Small, Minority & Entrepreneurial Division
Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation

Martinsville, VA (October 11, 2013) Six entrepreneurs in Martinsville-Henry County have graduated from the SmartSTART program offered through Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation's Small, Minority & Entrepreneurial Division. There have been 113 graduates since the EDC began offering entrepreneurial certification.

The entrepreneurs participated in the eight-week SmartSTART program which focused on preparing a solid business plan for their business ventures. Each of the eight sessions explored a different topic related to business planning and implementation, from researching to marketing. The program offered participants a chance to learn from business professionals and seasoned entrepreneurs who shared advice and experienced-based information on running a business. Participants worked in small groups to complete segments of their business plans such as executive summaries, marketing plans, competitive analyses and cash flow projections. During the final session, participants presented a summary of their business plans.

"Creating a solid business plan is the first step toward success in your business venture. From obtaining funding to hiring employees to planning for expansion, a business plan can be your guide to keeping your business on track. Your business plan can keep you focused on your goals and keep you moving forward when faced with obstacles," said Beth Deatherage, lead SmartSTART business coach.

Graduates of the 2013 SmartSTART program are Matthew Davis, Jeff Franklin, Brad Hughes, Beth Inman, Amy Reed, and Kari Turner. Business coaches for the 2013 session included Deatherage (HD Web Studios), Lisa Ison (Incubation Operation, Training & Applications), and Carolyn Shough (former banker).

For information on services or classes offered throughout the year to entrepreneurs and small business owners, contact the EDC's Small, Minority & Entrepreneurial Division at 276-403-5940 or visit

The mission of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation is to create new job opportunities and expand the tax base for the area. The organization strives to support and develop local industry, as well as market Martinsville-Henry County globally as an exceptional place to live, work and play.

The EDC is a public-private partnership between the City of Martinsville, Henry County, the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber's Partnership for Economic Growth (C-PEG) and the Harvest Foundation of the Piedmont.
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