SUBMITTED By LYNNE HARLAN
EBCI PUBLIC RELATIONS
Cherokee was awarded Certified Entrepreneurial Community (CEC) status by AdvantageWest on Tuesday, May 11. The certification was presented by Scott Hamilton, AdvantageWest Executive Director, and Pam Lewis, Senior Vice President Entrepreneurial Development. The certification was received by EBCI Business Development and Sequoyah Fund staff members who led the Eastern Band in the 2 year process to become a CEC.
Boyce Dietz, Representative for Congressman Heath Shuler, read from the Congressional Record proclaiming Cherokee the first nation to become a Certified Entrepreneurial Community. Assisting in presenting the award were Thomas Jenkins, Chairman, AdvantageWest Board of Directors, and Mike Arriola, CEC Review Committee member.
The CEC program was developed by AdvantageWest and requires communities to complete a rigorous, five-step process to become certified. Those steps include assessing the community’s current entrepreneurial landscape, creating a comprehensive strategy for entrepreneurial growth, marshaling the community’s entrepreneurial resources, and identifying and nurturing the community’s most promising entrepreneurial talents.
The CEC Celebration took place during the Business Opportunity Fair sponsored by Cherokee Business Development, Sequoyah Fund, NC Cooperative Extension, and AdvantageWest. The fair included a lineup of speakers and information booths to help aspiring and existing entrepreneurs discover potential business ideas, financing resources, and the critical steps in starting a business.
Contact Cherokee Business Development and Sequoyah Fund at 497-1666 for more information on services provided, loan packages, training opportunities, or questions about business ownership in Cherokee.