Project YES Business Innovation Center

Business presentation with E&H students in attendance

A partnership supporting business, entrepreneurship and economic growth in Washington and Smyth Counties and the surrounding area.

Town Square Center for Advancement Project YES Business and Innovation Center

Project YES will provide a variety of supports for businesses, whether they be in the conceptual stage, already existing or expanding. Project YES will also provide college students with real-world experience as they assist clients with business needs and Project YES will provide college students with opportunities to pursue their own business training and entrepreneurial dreams.

Additionally, Project YES will provide opportunities for workforce development and soft skills training for those aspiring to enter, reenter, or expand their options in the workforce.

Each Project YES partner will make use of their core offerings and networks, as well as collaborate with each other on projects. Core partners include Emory & Henry College and their School of Business, Virginia Highlands Small Business Development Center (SBDC), YWCA Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia and Project Glade.

For more information, contact the Town Square Center for Advancement (TSCA) at townsquarecenter@gmail.com.

Emory & Henry College primary institutional logo. Virginia Highlands SBDC YWCA NETN SWVA Project Glade
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Mission Statement

Project YES seeks to strengthen and advance the ecosystem of the local business community through collaboration with, support to and education for entrepreneurs and small businesses, with an intentional focus on underserved women, minority and rural populations.

Vision Statement

Project YES envisions a robust, inclusive and educated local business community that balances and strengthens the collective ecosystem, encourages racial and gender diversity and handles economic changes and challenges with agility.

Core Partners

Emory & Henry College

Emory & Henry College provides support through its School of Business. This includes experiential learning opportunities for students, enabling them to gain real-world understanding while helping local businesses under the guidance of Project YES partners. Students interested in entrepreneurship will have the opportunity to conceptualize and incubate their own business plans. Students will also assist with partner workshops and classes taught through this center.

Virginia Highlands Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

Virginia Highlands SBDC provides support and training to launch or expand a small business. Offerings include assistance with business plan creation, establishing a business structure, exploring funding options, and digital marketing. The SBDC also makes use of the Virginia SBA system for remote support in a variety of other services, including DEI training, business program/application training, etc.

YWCA Northeast Tennesse and Southwest Virginia

YWCA NETN and SWVA offers core YWCA programming, including its WE360 entrepreneurship training course for women, communities of color and rural business owners, and several programs under its SWVA Young Women’s Initiative, including Strive for Teens, which teaches soft business and interpersonal skills to students ages 13 to 19. The YWCA will facilitate SUD recovery wraparound supports related to the economic empowerment of minorities, women and families.

Project Glade

Project Glade, under its mission to support sustainable economic development in Southwest Virginia, provides the Town Square Center for Advancement (TSCA) as a home for Project YES. A business incubation space, TSCA opened in 2014 to support small business development in rural communities. Project Glade will also provide fundraising and marketing support TSCA and Project YES.

Additional Supports

Along with partner offerings, Project YES will facilitate a calendar of classes, trainings and workshops by community organizations, established business professionals and other speakers, as well as small-group support meetings (e.g. women in business, employers of employees in SUD recovery, student entrepreneurs). Project YES will also facilitate professional services such as financing and accounting, legal services and website development.

For more information and to learn about partnership and programming opportunities, contact the Town Square Center for Advancement (TSCA) at townsquarecenter@gmail.com.