HERALD-LEADER FRANKFORT BUREAU
FRANKFORT –The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is establishing an office on the University of Pikeville campus to provide assistance to startup companies in the Appalachian region.
“By adding the new office in Pikeville, we will be better able to serve the rapidly growing number of entrepreneurs and small businesses in Eastern Kentucky,” Gov. Steve Beshear said in a release.
“Innovation is key to changing the economic landscape in Appalachia and we need to offer small businesses encouragement, guidance and a blueprint for success. I look forward to seeing positive results and hearing more success stories as a result of this new location.
The Pikeville office will operate in the university’s Community Technology Center and will serve nine counties, including Pike, Martin, Johnson, Floyd, Knott, Letcher, Perry, Breathitt and Magoffin.
“Small businesses are the backbone of a sustainable economy,” said UPIKE President James Hurley. “We are excited to participate in this public-private partnership to extend and offer opportunity for economic development. Eastern Kentucky is full of great entrepreneurial leaders and the innovation center provides the platform for ideas to be developed and cultivated.”
The opening of the new office comes weeks after Beshear, Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers, community leaders and local residents announced their action plan for eastern Kentucky’s Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) Initiative.
Among the initiative’s main goals is to increase business recruitment and incubation in the region.
With the Pikeville location, the Kentucky Innovation Network provides business assistance to entrepreneurs from 13 locations across the state. Formed in 2002 by the Cabinet for Economic Development, the network serves all 120 counties throughout the state from offices in Ashland, Bowling Green, Covington, Elizabethtown, Lexington, London, Louisville, Morehead, Murray, Owensboro, Paducah and Richmond.
Last year, the Kentucky Innovation Network helped support 240 new companies create more than 1,000 jobs and assist businesses in raising more than $100 million in private investments.
The Office of Entrepreneurship within the Cabinet for Economic Development oversees the Kentucky Innovation Network and other services, programs and initiatives to encourage small business growth. The goal of the office is to create and promote a strong culture of entrepreneurship statewide.
For more information on the Kentucky Innovation Network,visit www.kyinnovation.com.