At the Downtown Beckley Business Association member meeting on March, 3 2017 four local female entrepreneurs spoke about their experiences owning a business in Beckley. We heard inspiring stories from Tara Barlow owner of Kilted Barber, Leigh Korn who helps run her family’s business, the Amish Barn, Kacey Korczyk owner of On Point Acupuncture, and Kate Sopher, Lula Roe consultant. Each woman shared great tips from their lessons learned such as the importance of advertising through social media and joining the Beckley- Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce. Other important tips include scouting a great location, supporting other local businesses, and understanding your demographic. The women also spoke to some specific challenges they face owning a business in southern West Virginia. They stressed the importance of getting to know your customer as “word of mouth” has a major impact on the survival of a business. After listening to each story, a common theme stood out. These female entrepreneurs are making a positive impact in our community by helping to solve their clients’ problems and making them feel better both physically and mentally. As their businesses grow, we hope that more female entrepreneurs will become inspired to open their own business in Beckley. Our discussion was held at The HIVE in Beckley, a small business accelerator which helps foster entrepreneurs. Through technical assistance NRGRDA, WV HIVE, and Raleigh County Extension Agent Christine Kinder support the DBBA and their efforts to revitalize downtown Beckley.

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