Archived Story

Polk Economic Development celebrates National Entrepreneurship Week

Published 9:30am Friday, February 15, 2013

National Entrepreneurship Week, a commemoration created by Congress to recognize the role

Sara Bell
Sara Bell

entrepreneurs have in fueling the American economy, is especially meaningful for Polk County.

As one of only 10 Certified Entrepreneurial Communities® in the United States, Polk County completed a rigorous, five-step process proving its commitment to entrepreneurship. The CEC designation demonstrates the community is “entrepreneur-ready.”

Festivities during the week of Feb. 16-23 will be just one more way Polk County  recognizes entrepreneurs and their role in fueling the local economy.

“To us, every week is ‘entrepreneurship week,’ but the national celebration makes it even more special,” said Janet Sciacca, a member of the local leadership team that helped win the CEC designation. “We have long valued our local entrepreneurs and National Entrepreneurship Week is another opportunity to support them and honor their contributions.”

Following are some of the special events and opportunities that will take place during the week:

Feb. 15: Sara Bell of Green River Adventures in Saluda will address the Polk County High School business classes.  Her talk, “A to Z: Accounting to

Shaw Canale
Shaw Canale

Zip Lining-The Average Day for an Adventure Focused Entrepreneur,” will focus on the advantages and challenges of being young and the boss.

Sara Bell is a successful entrepreneur. Originally an architecture student at Auburn University, she found her passion in whitewater kayaking. Bell started her own business after graduating from Brevard College with a degree in wilderness leadership.  She and husband, Tim, are the owner/operators of a successful kayaking business andare in the process of expanding the outdoor adventure business this summer with The Gorge, the area’s steepest canopy tour on the east coast.

Feb. 19:A free hour-long  noontime Lunch and Learn will feature a presentation on new trends in small business lending with area funding experts.  Learn what programs are currently funding small businesses and how to apply. Presenters include Mike Arriola, US Small Business Administration; Shaw Canale, CEO, Mountain BizWorks; and Harry Grymes, Sr. vice-president of Mountain First Bank. A light lunch will be served.

For more information on local events, contact Libbie Johnson, 828-894-2895. To learn more about the national celebration, visit

The Certified Entrepreneurial Community program was developed by AdvantageWest, the economic development partnership serving the 23 counties of Western North Carolina. It is the only program of its type in the country.  For more information on the CEC program, including local entrepreneur success stories, visit

- article submitted by Libbie Johnson

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