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Investing in innovation and business growth

A challenge to growing West Virginia small businesses stems from the unawareness of available business services and resources. Through strategic partnerships among finance experts, community development professionals, higher education researchers and start-up support groups, we are spotting opportunities to expand West Virginia’s innovation ecosystem by exploring new seed investment opportunities, investment vehicles, tools for entrepreneurs and initiatives that support a statewide startup culture.

Additional Resources:

100+ Ways to get startup capital

100+ ways to get startup capital. A West Virginia entrepreneur's toolkit

Building a West Virginia capital providers guide

While West Virginia has seen recent success in attracting landmark business projects, the key driver of job growth is a healthy start-up and small business ecosystem. WV Forward identified the need for a comprehensive capital providers index after the blueprint underlined the limited availability of risk-tolerant capital for West Virginia businesses. WV Forward researched and compiled “100 Ways to Get Startup Capital: A West Virginia Entrepreneur’s Toolkit,” which includes a variety of direct funding sources such as grants, equity investors and alternative lenders.

100+ Ways to Get Startup Capital

an economic atlas to maximize opportunity

Fostering an environment that creates new businesses and market-changing innovation will help West Virginia’s economy grow and develop. To generate tangible results, WV Forward and partners are building an economic atlas that stacks funding tools, strategic investment options, incentives to compete for national investment dollars, startup resources and tax incentives with potential collaborative projects and data-driven research. By amassing all of these moving pieces, it will help inform investors, businesses and entrepreneurs of opportunities to attract, retain and grow business. The federal government’s Opportunity Zones program is one of these tools to help fuel new business creation in the years to come.

OZ Panelists

examples of wv forward in action

innovation investment meeting

Utilizing resources to attract investment and take advantage of national trends

With the goal of expanding investment opportunities for businesses to start and grow, WV Forward and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond are bringing together impact investors, loan collaborative members and economic policy experts to examine funding and investment streams. Thanks to the Fed’s community development data, along with new investment trends such as Opportunity Zone Funds and impact investing generally, WV Forward and partners are providing a valuable resource for the state’s startup ecosystem.


Inventorying entrepreneurial assistance programs around the state

To ensure West Virginia entrepreneurs have the tools and resources they need to build and grow their business ventures and innovations, WV Forward is working with an array of experts to outline reported barriers and opportunities for capital access in the state and design resources that help entrepreneurs navigate the rugged startup funding terrain. This will begin to provide a comprehensive view of all of the services in the state, helping direct businesses to the appropriate entities and identifying gaps in support resources.


Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
West Virginia Development Office
Tech Connect West Virginia
The Hub
West Virginia Small Business Development Center
CBC         Small Business Administration

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We want to hear from you. Share your ideas. Stay informed. Help us move West Virginia Forward.

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*Citations available upon request.