New Asheville conference, Venture Local, hammers home importance of local economy


Venture Local has an important mission aimed at building and investing Asheville’s locally grown economy. It also looks to be a lot of fun. Get out and support this first-year event on Asheville’s South Slope. More:

The mission of Venture Local 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, Sept. 25th from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm on the South Slope of downtown Asheville. We’re thrilled to welcome “the Joan of Arc of the independent business movement,” 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, 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, Sept. 26 from noon – 6 pm. 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 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.

Tickets for the conference go on sale early August. Follow us on social media, sign on to our newsletter and keep checking for updates!


1 Comment

Peebs September 18, 2015 - 12:17 pm

Catawba Brewing….based in Morganton. Morganton is about as similar to Asheville as Lubbock, TX is to Austin. I guess an hour and fifteen minutes down I-40 is considered local to Asheville. Although the AC-T doesn’t seem to think so because they never cover anything out of Morganton (or Burke County for that matter). I’m sure if it were a large chain based in Morganton coming to Asheville, we’d all be losing our collective minds. I’m all for local business in Asheville, but let’s not stretch the definition. “Local” to Asheville ends to the east shortly after the bottom of Old Fort Mountain.

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