The Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards (EIEA) program will be held at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset on Sept. 8 at 11:30 a.m.
Each year, the EIEA Awards are presented by The Center for Rural Development, Eastern Kentucky University College of Business and Technology, Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation and Southeast Kentucky Economic Development (SKED) to entrepreneurs who have demonstrated exceptional achievements within the eastern and southern Kentucky geographic region.
The primary purpose of the EIEA program is to recognize and promote individuals in the region who have exemplified the entrepreneurial spirit by creating and managing a successful business enterprise.
“New and innovative approaches to rural economic development are essential to ensure a strong economic future for eastern and southern Kentucky,” said Elizabeth Burton, spokesperson for The Center. “The EIEA program recognizes individuals and businesses that, through their entrepreneurial efforts, help to energize local communities and regions to build and further develop sustainable economies.”
The EIEA luncheon will showcase all of the finalists and their businesses before announcing the winner in each category. This year’s awards will be given to entrepreneurs in four categories: For-Profit Business (in existence more than five years); Start-Up Business (in existence less than five years); Not-for-Profit Entity; and Young Entrepreneur.
As part of the EIEA program, the winner of the Collegiate Business Concept Challenge (CBCC) will also be recognized. Each year, the EKU College of Business and Technology, The Center for Rural Development, the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, Berea College Entrepreneurship for the Public Good and Lindsey Wilson College invite business ideas from eastern and southern Kentucky university, college and community college students to compete for monetary awards and professional consultation.
“The EIEA and the CBCC programs are important because they provide information that helps create a blueprint that other aspiring entrepreneurs can follow,” said Burton. “We’re helping create pathways for innovative start-ups and entrepreneurial business practices. The awards luncheon also provides an enormous opportunity for entrepreneurs to network with and learn from some of the region’s most successful leaders.”
Eastern Kentucky University President Dr. Michael T. Benson will emcee this year’s event. Prior to the awards portion of the luncheon, Congressman Hal Rogers will share a message with attendees and Jared Arnett, executive director of the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and chair of the SOAR business incubation working group, will provide an overview and update on the SOAR initiative.
To register for the luncheon online, visit http://crdev.us/2014EIEALuncheon. The cost of the luncheon is $20 per person. Reservations are required and will be accepted through Sept. 5.
To view a list of this year’s EIEA finalists, visit www.centertech.com and click on the EIEA graphic.