How the Downtown Ashland Association is working to help Central Virginia entrepreneurs for free

Posted at 10:20 AM, Feb 21, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-21 10:20:17-05

ASHLAND, Va., — The Downtown Ashland Association and their partners are offering several free programs for entrepreneurs to expand their networks and opportunities.

Louise Keeton, the association’s marketing director, acknowledged that starting your own business can be tough to do alone.

One of their main programs is their social media marketing workshops. Eight applicants will be chosen to learn from award winning experts in the social media field. Registration for that program ended on Tuesday.

Keeton said while that part of technology is already ingrained in our personal and professional lives, there is still so much to learn.

“Unless you have a full time opportunity to devote yourself to learning those skills, having a mentorship program is your opportunity to really jet set your growth,” Keeton explained.

The Center Street Pitch Competition invites entrepreneurs to pitch their next big idea to a panel of expert judges on March 28 at the Ashland Theatre. Applications must be submitted by March 14.

“We're going to hear from the leaders in our community of how all the ways they're bringing their talents into our community,” Keeton said.

Keeton likened the competition to the high-stakes television show Shark Tank, but “friendlier.”

Dominion Energy Innovation Center and Downtown Ashland Association will award $5,000 cash and a year-long coworking membership in Downtown Ashland.

Starting in April, entrepreneurs at every stage can participate in eight innovation workshops aimed at showcasing strategies and tactics that small businesses can implement right away.

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