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Roanoke Entrepreneur Hub
If this definition of entrepreneur describes you, then you have found the right place. The Roanoke Region is home to businesses both large and small, including a blossoming entrepreneurial community.

Whether you are looking to build a business plan, find a co-working space, or just peruse some of the resources available, Roanoke Entrepreneur Hub is your starting point.

Business Resources

Roanoke Business ResourcesAdvisory services to help improve the effectiveness of business strategy, process, or operations by assessing needs and reviewing functions, plans and directions.

Business Counseling

  • Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides no-cost business counseling services to startup and existing businesses in the areas of business and marketing plan development, marketing research, permits and licensing, strategic planning, and in accounting, legal entities, taxes and financial management.
  • Roanoke Public Library Consultations and Resources include support for entrepreneurs who may not necessarily have a concrete business plan, or are just beginning their research into starting their business. One-on-one programs are designed for early-stage entrepreneurs who may not be ready to take advantage of other programs quite yet.
  • Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is a nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneur education and assisting in the formation, growth, and success of the region's small businesses. SCORE provides free and confidential counseling tailored to meet the needs and personal objectives of small business owners. SCORE also offers workshops for start-up and experienced entrepreneurs. Services are provided by real-world professionals with time-tested knowledge who donate thousands of hours to help small businesses succeed. Counselors are experts in such areas as accounting, finance, marketing, management, and business plan preparation. SCORE also assists entrepreneurs in identifying loan, capital, and investment opportunities.
  • Virginia Business One Stop is a single source of information related to business in Virginia. The Business Registration System walks a new business owner through each step on the path to establishing a new business.
  • Virginia Electronic Commerce Technology Center is a non-profit organization that works with all businesses to promote economic competitiveness through various e-services such as website design, database development, search engine optimization, and Internet marketing.
  • VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship worldwide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, supported by the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. The headquarters is in Blacksburg.
  • ScaleUp Roanoke Valley is designed to provide support to help companies scale up and grow, while strengthening and enhancing local entrepreneurial ecosystems so entrepreneurs and firms can produce measurable economic impact and job growth. ScaleUp Roanoke Valley provides structured training, one-on-one business support, and networking opportunities designed to aid each member business in scaling up your operations.

Manufacturing Consulting

  • GenEdge is designed to help Virginia industries innovate, compete and grow their bottom line. The program includes experienced Lean Six Sigma Black Belt advisors assist in developing your competitive edge with the latest integrated tools and methods for optimizing operations.


  • Virginia Small, Women- and Minority-Owned Certification (SWaM) program is administered by the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity and helps small, women- and minority-owned businesses with doing business with state government entities. To apply for SWaM, complete an online application and provide the required documents.
  • The Entrepreneurship Plus Program from Virginia Western teaches students and prospective entrepreneurs how to launch a business in one semester. This program offers unique hands-on experience and acts as a business incubator. While enrolled, you will develop ideas into a real company, learn how to fund and finance your company, develop a logo, business cards, website, brochures, press releases, marketing objectives, and more.

Co-Working and Networking

  • Grandin CoLab is a co-working space, event venue, and resource hub for innovation in the Roanoke and New River valleys with two locations (Grandin Village and Downtown Roanoke). 
  • RAMP, Regional Acceleration and Mentoring Program, was created to help high-potential startup companies expand and create new jobs within the Roanoke-Blacksburg region. This highly focused program represents a groundbreaking public/private partnership between the City of Roanoke, Virginia Western Community College, and the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council. Entrepreneurs seeking to scale up their companies are invited to apply for the program, which will be houses in the Historic Gill Memorial Hospital Building located at 709 South Jefferson Street, located along the recently announced downtown Health Sciences and Technology Innovation District. For more information on RAMP, please call 540-443-9232.
  • The HIVE is a business incubation center and co-working space located in Vinton.

 Business Training and Development

Roanoke small business

Grants, Financing & Incentives

  • Virginia’s Enterprise Zone program incentivizes investments within specifically targeted areas. There are 57 enterprise zones within the Commonwealth including four in the Roanoke Region, including one in the city.
  • The Total Action for Progress Business Seed Capital, Inc. Program provides micro-financing for start-up or existing businesses. The program provides flexible commercial loan packages, including short or long-term loans to qualifying customers in the greater Roanoke Region, cities of Roanoke, Salem, Lexington and the counties of Alleghany, Botetourt, Pulaski, and the towns of Vinton and Clifton Forge.
  • The Economic Development Authority of the City of Roanoke, Virginia, created the first-of-its-kind Entrepreneurial District within the city to stimulate and support entrepreneurship by offering incentives in the areas of training, research projects, loans, and reducing the cost of services. Qualifying businesses would be able to use funds as collateral on loans up to 20 percent of the loan value.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration assists small businesses to start, grow, and prosper. The Richmond, Virginia, District Office of SBA is responsible for the delivery of SBA programs and services to 92 counties in Virginia (including those in the Roanoke Region). 
  • Virginia Small Business Financing Authority is Virginia's economic development and small business financing arm. VSBFA helps Virginia's existing businesses and those businesses that are seeking to come to Virginia through an extensive portfolio of financing programs.
  • Virginia Active Angel Network invests in seed and start-up and early stage companies in the following sectors: biotechnology, consumer products and services, electronics/instrumentation, industrial/energy, media and entertainment, medical devices and equipment and telecommunications. Virginia Active Angel Network prefers to invest within a four hour drive of Charlottesville and Blacksburg.
  • CIT GAP Funds makes seed-stage equity investments in Virginia-based technology and life science companies with a high potential for achieving rapid growth and generating significant economic return. 
  • New Dominion Angels is an investor group formed to capitalize early-stage, Virginia-based companies. Their purpose is to positively impact the communities and the economy of Virginia by helping to bring new products and services to market; to support Virginia start-up businesses; to learn from stakeholders and each other, and to enjoy the process; to earn fair, risk-adjusted investment returns.
  • The Virginia Economic Development Partnership promotes Virginia’s best business incentive: its pro-business climate. This advantageous climate — together with assets such as a strategic location, a highly productive workforce, and excellent quality of life — makes Virginia a good place to do business. Virginia offers a range of incentives and services to assist business growth and reduce the costs of opening or expanding. Incentives include financial assistance, infrastructure development grants, tax credits and exemptions, customized training, and technical support programs.

5 Cool (and Free) Tools for Entrepreneurs

EntreLeadership Podcast: The weekly podcast is a dose of practical inspiration and features everything from profit to personal growth with lessons from people who are doing it.

Boomerang for Gmail: This free plugin allows you to schedule emails, helping you better manage your inbox. Create a digital business card that you can use as an email signature and serve as a landing page to connect with clients.

Todoist: Manage projects and work in teams via digital checklist. It’s likely you will schedule and take meetings with people who are not in your ZIP code, this tool makes screen sharing and conferencing a breeze.

Find 60 more great tools from Inc.
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