About Us

A little more about our mission, the people and organizations involved

Franzi Charen

Franzi Charen

Director, Asheville Grown Business Alliance & Co-Owner, Hip Replacements Clothing

Jane Hatley

Jane Hatley

WNC Regional Director, Self-Help Credit Union

Kimberly Hunter

Kimberly Hunter

President, Prolific Consulting, LLC.

Sasha Mitchell

Sasha Mitchell

Founder, Color of Asheville & Owner, Memory Cottage

Meg Jamison Williams

Meg Jamison Williams

Former N. Arizona Director, Local First Arizona & Asheville Design Center, Project Manager

About Us

This September the Asheville Grown Business Alliance in partnership with the Self Help Credit UnionEagle Market Streets Development Corporation, Prolific Consulting and Color of Asheville will launch the first annual Venture Local Fair. The mission of the event is to highlight the unique character of Asheville, to drive dialogue around the positive economic impact of thinking locally first and create value driven growth in a way that is dedicated to a triple bottom line.

The conference portion will be a ticketed event and will take place on Friday, September 25th from 8:30am – 5:00pm in the South Slope of downtown Asheville. We’re thrilled to welcome Stacy Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self Reliance and author of Big Box Swindle as our keynote. Catawba Brewing will host the main portion of the conference. Expect thought provoking breakout sessions and tours of local businesses throughout the South Slope. The event will expand on momentum from its sister event, the annual Bringing it Home Conference held this past March. Sessions will cover topics including Marketing and Branding Strategies, B-Corporations, History of the South Slope, Democratizing Ownership and Cooperatives, and Growing with Creative Financing. We also aim to compliment the conversations sparked at the Authentic Communities Summit, the Creative Sector Summit and MEDWeek as well as bring back ideas from this year’s BALLE Conference in Phoenix.

A street fair will take place Saturday, September 26th from noon – 6pm. This is a family friendly event and FREE for all to attend. We will close off both Buxton and Banks and host a festive celebration with over 100 maker and collector booths, food trucks and local beer. Sow True Seed’s annual Garlic Fest will take place simultaneously and many businesses in the area will feature special programming including live music, factory tours and tastings.

Venture Local WNC was started in 2011 by Advantage West  as a one-day conference to “spotlight success stories, promote opportunities for new ventures, discuss best practices and connect entrepreneurs with each other, investors and the resources they need to succeed.”

In 2015 AGBA adopted the conference and expanded it into a 2-day affair. With the vision and talent of Jenny Fares from Sound Mind Creative we developed a logo inspired by the mythic Sankofa bird and the ornate patterns reflected in the Quilt Trails of WNC. Our aim is to protect our community and shape our future by building better business through enhancing our understanding of the past.

We are currently accepting vendor applications through June 22nd. Tickets for the conference go on sale early August. Follow us on social media, sign on to our newsletter and keep checking this website for updates!

 

 

 
 

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Stephanie Swepson-Twitty

Stephanie Swepson-Twitty

CEO, Eagle Markets Streets Development Corp.

Sara Landry

Sara Landry

Center Affairs Coordinator & Marketing Coordinator of Graduate Studies, Lenoir-Rhyne University

Jenny Greer Fares

Jenny Greer Fares

Co-Owner, Sound Mind Creative & Founder, Asheville Music Video Awards

Emma Hutchens

Emma Hutchens

Co-founder, REAL Cooperative & Go Local Card Coordinator, Asheville Grown

Joel Skene

Joel Skene

Field Underwriter at Symmetry Financial Group