Emily H. Breedlove has been named Entrepreneurship Program Manager at AdvantageWest, the economic development partnership for the 23 counties of Western North Carolina.
In her new role, Breedlove will provide direction and management for the Certified Entrepreneurial Community® Program, an intensive five-step process developed by AdvantageWest as the first initiative of its type in the U.S. to certify communities as entrepreneur- ready. Currently, there are 10 communities that have completed the CEC program; several others are in various stages of completing the rigorous process, which typically takes up to two years.
Breedlove brings extensive experience to her new role. Prior to joining AdvantageWest, she created the Black Rock Company, a Macon County-based marketing and consulting company that is now being purchased by Big Boom Designs, a regional internet marketing company. She also founded the Center for New Mountain Business to provide resources for small business.
“Emily is an entrepreneur herself and has supported several start-ups in the region, so she is uniquely qualified for this position,” said Matt Raker, Vice President of Entrepreneurship & Advantage- Green. “With her many years of coaching, connecting and marketing businesses, Emily will enhance AdvantageWest’s work to make Western North Carolina a great place to start and grow a high-impact business.”
“Entrepreneurship is a critical economic development strategy along with AdvantageWest’s other focus areas of advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, the green economy, and filmmaking,” said Scott Hamilton, AdvantageWest president and CEO. “We are delighted to welcome Emily to our staff, and excited to be able to offer her experience to the entrepreneurs we work with across our 23-county region.” Breedlove’s duties will also include organizing or assisting with training opportunities and events for entrepreneurs, such as the popular Blue Ridge Entrepreneurial Council (BREC) Forums and the annual Carolina Connect and Venture Local conferences.
Breedlove interned with the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission before receiving her degree in International Political Science from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. She is currently an adjunct marketing instructor at Southwestern Community College.