The economic landscape in West Virginia is vastly improving for the 1.8 million residents who currently occupy these mountains. Looking at things closely, I’ve also noticed a changing tide. I’m able to watch from close-up the life-changing work of the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority (NRGRDA), the WV Hive Network, and Country Roads Angel Network (CRAN). Daily, we pursue actionable steps to improve the quality of life for entrepreneurs in southern West Virginia and the entire state.
The entrepreneurship ecosystem developed by the NRGRDA in southern West Virginia has generated positive press coverage, academic interest from neighboring institutions, and a host of formative partnerships with other key players in West Virginia’s community and economic development system. Much of the credit for pioneering work in the New River Gorge region lies with the leadership of change-makers at the NRGRDA and WV Hive Network, Executive Directors Jina Belcher and Judy Moore, respectively. But this work doesn’t end there. These two, in collaboration with the Country Roads Angel Network’s leadership team led by Chairman Kevin Combs, has consistently defied odds and produced concrete results for entrepreneurs statewide.