Current Programs

West Kentucky Alliance For A Vibrant Economy (WAVE)


Presented by The West Kentucky Alliance For A Vibrant Economy (WAVE)

USDA invests $54,000 in small business development in rural Kentucky.

Hilda Legg, Kentucky State Director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development, recently announced the award of a $54,000 Rural Business Development Grant to Sustainable Business Ventures (SBV) Corporation to help small businesses and entrepreneurs across Kentucky.

SBV, a 501(c)(3) Kentucky nonprofit, will use the grant to provide distance learning and create an entrepreneurial network connecting budding entrepreneurs, small businesses, educational entities, investors, mentors, technical service providers, professional trainers, and consultants.

Sustainable Business Ventures and partners are working together to address serious issues facing eastern Kentucky and Appalachia. JOBS! There has been a loss of 7,500 coal jobs or a 50% reduction since 2011. For every coal job lost there are an estimated three additional jobs lost. The additional job loss impacts retail shops, restaurants and many other businesses in the local economy. Many youth leave and never return and these communities are in a death spiral. Similar employment challenges face Eastern Tennessee.

Our team will use state-of-the-art job creation tools and highly focused entrepreneurial training to create jobs in a region that desperately needs a new approach and measurable successes. The program is called Digital Entrepreneur and Worker Development (DEWD) Program. There are two key components of the DEWD job development program: (1) entrepreneur training and (2) training workers for online customer service jobs.  The entrepreneur training program provided in the seven target counties will also collaborate with parts of eastern Tennessee that desire to focus on entrepreneurial development. The entrepreneur training will integrate three programs: Community Building through Entrepreneurial Education and Experiences (CBe3); Ice House Entrepreneurship Program Small Business Edition (SBE) and SBV's Green Entrepreneur Program (GEP) was developed to help difficult to employ individuals (including inmates and ex-offenders) create their own job through self-employment. A Teleworks Hub is a sustainable job creation program bringing technology-based jobs to local communities in West Liberty and surrounding counties.

The Four River Counties Judge-Executives – buoyed by the business and civic leadership of their communities – have banded together to develop a unifying, cohesive strategy – to expand regional assets, capitalize on joint resources and promote the region. This unprecedented, bi-partisan collaboration will help facilitate the navigation of a unique public-private partnership that could capture the state’s, and indeed the national imagination, spurring economic growth and progress to a region that sorely needs it, and one that is ideally positioned for rebirth and revitalization. The Four River Counties are Ballard, Carlisle, Hickman, and Fulton counties in far western Kentucky.

SBV explored the establishment as a resource for business training, planning, start-up, financing, marketing, and all aspects of business operation. The center would provide referrals, personal consultations, workshops, and training programs for existing and proposed businesses, as well as for individuals considering entrepreneurial ventures. Increasing economic pressures are forcing businesses to assess and re-assess their operations. Demand for the center abounds from unyielding instability in the global, national, and local economies. Entrepreneurship training is provided through well-developed modules regarding every aspect of start-up through operation, as well as exit strategies. Now SBV is working with other partners in Santa Claus to establish an entrepreneur center.

The Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame (KEHOF) is a virtual destination that shares and celebrates the stories of Kentucky’s most successful entrepreneurs ( The purpose of KEHOF is to raise awareness of the impact that entrepreneurship has made in the Commonwealth and encourage others to pursue similar ambitious endeavors.

Past Programs

Sustainable Business Ventures (formerly Kentucky Student Ventures Corporation) teamed with Hardin County Public Schools and the Lincoln Trail Innovation Center in response to an RFP from Lincoln Trail Area Development District for a Summer Youth Program called “Green Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute (GELIN).” This is also a

Sustainable Business Ventures Corporation developed and managed a new “Green” program in Central Kentucky in 2009 funded by the Bluegrass Workforce Investment Board. The “Bluegrass Goes Green” project focused on developing local community plans to “go green.” There was a team of five economically disadvantaged youth in 11 of the 17 counties.

The Bluegrass Green Entrepreneur Program was a program awarded by the Bluegrass Area Development District to provide entrepreneurial training, work experience and assistance in writing business plans for economically disadvantaged participants, ages 18-24.

Southeastern Correctional Institution (SCI) launched the Ohio Green Prison Project, a partnership of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) and the Vera Institute of in 2010 to focus on environmental literacy and green job training to prepare inmates for a range of sustainability-related jobs.

Small Businesses, individuals and families can enroll in the United Way of the Bluegrass Back on Track Program
Save $1,000 and Get $4,000 Match

The mission of RecycleForce Columbus was to strengthen counties communities by helping employers build a better workforce. RecycleForce Columbus was a program managed by an Ohio registered non-profit Sustainable Business Ventures Ohio, which is a division of Sustainable Business Ventures (SBV), a 501(c)(3) organization.