Entrepreneurship

Whether you plan to

work from home or in a building downtown

You will have access to affordable high speed Internet. You will join communities of artists and craftspeople, knowledge workers, alternative agricultural enterprises, service and health care providers, and other small business owners. Most importantly you will find people to support your dreams and innovations.

Local Support for Entrepreneurs

The Small Business Center at Mayland Community College, Spruce Pine Campus, provides personalized information, consulting services, local business resources, and continuing business education.

MAY Coalition, at 167 Locust Street in Spruce Pine, offers small business loans. Mountain BizWorks also offers small business loans and coaching.

AMY Regional Libraries: Mitchell County’s Spruce Pine Public Library and Bakersville Public Library provide high speed wireless, work stations, copiers, fax machines, and other resources. Most public areas in downtown Spruce Pine and Bakersville offer free wireless internet.

The Toe River Arts Council (TRAC) in Spruce Pine gives artists and craftspeople a strong voice and community support. The Mitchell County Cooperative Extension Service in Bakersville supports alternative agriculture.

Next Generation Entrepreneurs

Mitchell County prides itself as a place where business starts early. By encouraging youth to learn about entrepreneurship as a career option, we help them develop skills that will benefit them in whatever career they choose.

In partnership with the Mitchell County school system, Agricultural Extension Service, Mayland Community College and North Carolina Rural Entrepreneurship through Action Learning (REAL), students participate in business presentations, youth entrepreneurship camps, the Hop on the Bus High School Business Plan Competition, networking opportunities, mentorships, and get support along the way.

In the belief that homegrown business represents an important way to build and sustain the county’s economy, Mitchell High School students operate a chicken and egg business, which is housed on the high school campus. A rabbit production business is in the planning process. These efforts create a vibrant culture of entrepreneurship which will contribute to the county’s economic future.

Mitchell County Entrepreneurs

Mitchell County’s many assets provide a diverse economy from a vibrant artisan community to an expanding alternative agricultural sector, a thriving outdoor recreation industry, innovative green energy companies, and an advanced mining industry.

Crafts

The renowned Penland School of Crafts, located on a 400-acre campus, teaches the art of craft-making to students from around the world. Many of those crafts are displayed and sold in over 60 studios and galleries across the region, and countless galleries around the world. In Tandem Gallery and Mica Gallery, for example, feature fine art and amazing ceramics.

Agriculture

Famous for its Christmas tree farms and apple orchards, Mitchell County’s specialty crop sector is reflected in the produce of the Harty Farm mushrooms, strawberries, honey, and pesticide-free vegetables.

Recreation Industry

With plentiful streams, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Appalachian Trail, outdoor recreation opportunities abound. Adventure awaits at companies like Loafers Glory Rafting & Tubing and Thrifty Adventures.

Regenerative Business

Regenerative business offers potential, as noted in the widely recognized Bark House by Highland Craftsman, manufacturers of bark shingles and specialty wood products used in the construction trade. Bark House exterior poplar bark siding just became the first ever Cradle to Cradle Certified PLATINUM product. Bark House is also a Certified B Corporation.