Applications are now open for the Ohio University Center for Entrepreneurship’s Southeast Ohio Community Entrepreneurship Program! This program seeks to help those in Southeast Ohio experiencing economic or other hardships start and grow businesses of their own.

The deadline to apply for the program is June 1, 2022. Email Paul Benedict at with any questions, and follow the link to learn more:


In partnership with Notre Dame’s McKenna Center for Human Development and Global Business and a growing network of community entrepreneurship initiatives, including ACEnet, the Center for Entrepreneurship seeks to:

  • Foster the creation of new, profitable ventures by those facing economic or other disadvantages
  • Assist existing small businesses owned by those with disadvantages in becoming sustainable and growing
  • Work with community members on the development of both the person as an entrepreneur and the business as a successful venture
  • Identify and share best practices in poverty alleviation through entrepreneurship
  • Measure and track the development and performance of entrepreneurs and their ventures based on program participation
  • Celebrate entrepreneurial achievements of those facing/overcoming adversity

An Integrated Approach to Community Empowerment

The Southeast Ohio Community Entrepreneurship Program is an integrated, multi-faceted program that involves six core elements:

  • Training Programs: Community members participate in a six-week Bootcamp, held on Saturday mornings, that introduces basic tools, concepts, and principles relevant to launching and growing a successful venture. The Bootcamp is designed for people with little to no resources or background.
  • One-on-One Consulting: Following the training, a consulting initiative pairs faculty, graduate students, and other partners with the entrepreneurs to work one-on-one solving particular problems.
  • Mentoring: Participants can receive mentorship from a successful entrepreneur who, where possible, has experiences related to the type of business the entrepreneur is working on. In addition, an ‘expertise pool’ of mentors is available with advice on specific problem areas.
  • Community Connect: Entrepreneurs are connected to valuable resources in the community through quarterly community forums, an internet platform, and other communication vehicles. Another component is the Co-Marketing program, which encourages community members to do business with the program’s entrepreneurs.
  • Microcredit: Local organizations and financial institutions create a micro-credit fund that provides low-interest and no-interest loans and grants to individuals as they attempt to launch ventures.
  • Research and Tracking: The program conducts research documenting the challenges facing entrepreneurs, tracking their progress and identifying elements that are successful in helping them to move forward.

Who is eligible to participate?

Anyone in the community who suffers from adverse economic, physical, or related circumstances is eligible to participate in the program. The program focuses on supporting community members living in poverty who have a dream of starting and growing a venture, including those who have already started a venture but are struggling.

What is the cost?

The price of the Community Bootcamp is $500. However, scholarships of $475 are available for anyone with financial need. All applicants are considered for scholarship. Additionally, mileage reimbursement is available to any participant who needs it.

Bootcamp Details:

Six Saturday mornings, 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. June 18th – July 30th at Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville. Most Saturdays will also include an extra session from 12:00-1:00 p.m. that digs deeper into a particular topic with local experts (lawyers, bankers, social media professionals, experts in government contracts).

The deadline to apply for the program is June 1, 2022.

Email Paul Benedict at with any questions, and follow the link to learn more:


Community Update by ACEnet Programs & Communications Coordinator, Meggan Loveland