Trustee: Opportunity Southwest Virginia
- Why are you interested in becoming a Trustee?
- Opportunity Southwest Virginia (SWVA) is a roundtable of community and economic development organizations working collaboratively across the 19-county Appalachian region encompassing Virginia’s Coalfields and Blue Ridge Plateau. Much of the region is transitioning from traditional industries such as coal mining and the manufacture of furniture and textiles. Entrepreneurship development efforts underpin regional strategies fostering local resilience and economic diversification strategies. It’s a region rich in opportunity and Opportunity SWVA has a five-year track record of piloting successful efforts to build entrepreneurial ecosystems, grow new ventures, and promote the region as a hub for entrepreneurship. Team members work daily with emerging and expanding businesses, providing technical assistance, loans, training, and resources. Simultaneously, Opportunity SWVA’s strategies fostering entrepreneurial communities are helping communities and local leaders organize to support new businesses. Serving as a trustee allows Opportunity SWVA an organizational tool to connect emerging businesses with the communities that want to support them. Through Kiva, Opportunity SWVA will heighten community support for local businesses, strengthen the culture of entrepreneurship in the region, and increase access to capital and the future fundability of the next generation of Southwest Virginia business leaders. It’s another way SWVA communities are organizing in support of business. Our entrepreneurs are key partners in the strategic vision of the region and its communities. We are proud to work with them and to help them tell their stories of a region and its opportunities.
- What is the mission of your organization?
- Opportunity SWVA empowers communities of Southwest Virginia by building the entrepreneurial ecosystem, growing entrepreneurship and new ventures, and promoting the region as a vibrant entrepreneurial hub.
Borrower Due Diligence
- How will you decide who to endorse as a borrower? What due diligence will you conduct?
- Opportunity SWVA will endorse borrowers based on several criteria. Endorsed borrowers will: 1. Successfully participate in the technical assistance, training, and funding programs of one or more partner organization represented on the Opportunity SWVA steering committee. 2. Pursue a business model or expansion plan that aligns with the strategic vision of the community or region. Through a roundtable approach, Opportunity SWVA (through the Community Supported Loan Action Team) will identify, vet, and approve borrowers, assisting them in developing their KIVA presence to highlight the opportunities offered by the region, their businesses and their communities. The quality of the experience for communities and entrepreneurs is of greater importance than the number of entrepreneurs we support as we learn and grow together in the strategy. As with all of the Opportunity SWVA projects, growth and expansion will come after the pilot is demonstrated.