FASTER WV Initiative



FASTER WV Kickoff Webinar from April 15, 2020

FASTER WV Webinar: Cottage Food Sales Webinar from June 10, 2020

FASTER WV Webinar: River & Outdoor Recreation Webinar from July 29, 2020

FASTER WV Webinar: Mastering the Basics of Hosting Airbnb from August 19, 2020

FASTER WV Webinar: Maker to Manufacturer from November 5, 2020

FASTER WV Webinar: Need Help Starting or Expanding Your Business from November 17, 2020

FASTER WV Webinar: How to Start a Child Care Business from December 9, 2020

FASTER WV Webinar: How to Start a Construction Company from January 7, 2021



Health Care Webinar:  February 11, 2021

River & Outdoor Recreation Webinar:  March 25, 2021 

Food & Beverage Manufacturing Webinar:  May 13, 2021

General Informational Webinar:  July 22, 2021

Small Manufacturing Webinar:  September 2, 2021

Construction Webinar:  November 11, 2021

Elder Care Webinar:  December 9, 2021


Through the new FASTER WV Initiative, Advantage Valley and its partners are building a stronger culture of entrepreneurship in the region, providing small business owners with access to business coaching, basic business entrepreneurship classes, and access to capital.

Advantage Valley received a grant award of $930,000 from Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and $362,00 from the Benedum Foundation for its “FASTER WV” Initiative ~ Fostering Advantages for StartUps & Entrepreneurial Resurgence in West Virginia.  Participants will be strongly encouraged to take entrepreneurship training classes, (short or long courses to build necessary business skills) either through BridgeValley Community and Technical College’s new Kauffman FastTrac Program or Unlimited Future's Planning for Profit Class.  Participants of the FASTER WV program will have access to a $500,000 Revolving Loan Fund dedicated to the Advantage Valley region. 

Advantage Valley's goal is to facilitate start up or expansion of 50 businesses at the end of three years.  

Leading this collaborative program, Advantage Valley will help boost entrepreneurial startups and expansions in the following targeted emerging sectors, among others:


  • Food & Beverage Production

  • River & Outdoor Recreation/Lodging

  • Childcare/Dependent Care Services

  • Healthcare

  • Small Manufacturing

  • Construction Trades

These targeted areas have high growth potential and higher wage prospects. This initiative builds upon research from 2018 outlined in the “Best Market Opportunities for Business Development,” a report and series of practical Playbooks identifying 20 key business sectors that are ripe for entrepreneurial business and job development. Feel free to open, download, and use the research and data available in these playbooks to help you as you consider starting a business.

Click here to receive ongoing information about the FASTER WV Program.

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Other Resources for Entrepreneurs:  Advantage Valley Innovation Centers


Brad D. Smith Business Center at Marshall University, Charleston Area Alliance Small Business IncubatorThe GRID, Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI), MidAtlantic Technology Research & Innovation Center (MATRIC), TechConnect WV, University of Charleston Innovation Center



Reactions to the FASTER WV Webinars...


“I listened to the webinar for developing the opportunities around flat water rivers in this region.  It was fantastic.  Very content rich, well organized and inspirational.  Thank you!”


“Thank you all so much. A ton of great information. Thanks for what you are doing.”


“Thanks!  Glad to learn about ALL these resources!”


"An outstanding class. After hearing what they offer, it sounded like exactly what I need. How soon should I reach out to them or will they be contacting me??  Thanks again!  You have taken a lot of worry off my battered brain."