Energizing Entrepreneurial Communities - USDA Grant

USDA invests $54,000 in small business development in rural Kentucky.

Hilda Legg, Kentucky State Director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development, recently announced the award of a $54,000 Rural Business Development Grant to Sustainable Business Ventures (SBV) Corporation to help small businesses and entrepreneurs across Kentucky.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and they’ve been hit hard over the last six months,” said Legg. “Connecting small business owners with on-demand training and coaching will help them survive and thrive. USDA Rural Development continues to be a valuable partner in helping rural businesses and communities across the commonwealth.” The USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas.

SBV, a 501(c)(3) Kentucky nonprofit, will use the grant to provide distance learning and create an entrepreneurial network connecting budding entrepreneurs, small businesses, educational entities, investors, mentors, technical service providers, professional trainers, and consultants. The project funded by this grant will create 20 jobs and save an additional 100 jobs across the 16 counties in the service area (Ballard, Breathitt, Calloway, Carlisle, Elliott, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Lee, Magoffin, Marshall, McCracken, Menifee, Morgan, Rowan, and Wolfe counties).

"SBV is excited about this opportunity to grow the SBV Entrepreneur Network and help establish entrepreneurial communities in rural Kentucky, said Bobby Clark, SBV President and Co-founder of the Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame (an annual celebration honoring Kentucky’s outstanding entrepreneurs). “The framework we’re going to use is based on the principles of the ‘Energizing Entrepreneurial Communities’ initiated by the Center for Rural Development,” Clark said.

This initiative involves a regional effort to increase and sustain local economies, and focuses on community development by connecting resources and supporting community teams and leaders. Businesses owners, local banks and credit unions, local city and county officials, and other community and faith-based leaders are encouraged to join the no-cost entrepreneur network at www.entrep.net/app/join/SBV. The initial focus in these target counties will focus on sole proprietors and microbusinesses with five or fewer employees.

For more information, contact Bobby Clark at 859-227-0263, bclark@sbventures.org or Jon Bilak at 270-556-7923 or sbvbilak@gmail.com.

2020 Community Leader Meetings

Date County/Counties YouTube Link
Sept 24 McCracken https://youtu.be/gmkOP4FunMk
Sept 28 Ballard Carlisle Hickman & Fulton https://youtu.be/fd30vIGix84
Sept 30 Rowan, Morgan & Lee https://youtu.be/HDHrz41D5eQ
Oct 28 Breathitt, Elliott, Magoffin, Menifee & Wolfe https://youtu.be/XK06hbjYD6o
Oct 29 Calloway, Graves & Marshall https://youtu.be/rxl6-LXxYbc