Regions Central Virginia

Virginia Community Economic Network and VT KnowledgeWorks form strategic partnership

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The Virginia Community Economic Network (VCEN) and VT KnowledgeWorks  have entered into a strategic partnership in an effort to improve the economic competitiveness of Virginia communities.

Under the new arrangement, VT KnowledgeWorks, a Blacksburg-based business accelerator,  will provide staffing and operational support for Richmond-based VCEN, a Richmond-based nonprofit advocate for creating and expanding economic opportunity throughout the state.

VCEN’s executive director, Conaway Haskins, also will join the VT KnowledgeWorks  staff and continue to manage the nonprofit while assisting with the development of related projects and initiatives.

“This new partnership helps VTKW fulfill its mission to foster pragmatic and well-integrated programs for innovative entrepreneurship and community vitality around Virginia,” Jim Flowers, executive director VT KnowledgeWorks and a founding VCEN board member, said in a statement. “Working with VCEN will help us extend our outreach to regions around the state, and generate an increased return on investment for all of our supporters.”

Founded in 2013, VCEN promotes entrepreneurship and economic development strategies designed to spur job creation, increase wealth-building, and enhance community vitality.

In 2014, VCEN launched SourceLink Virginia (, a small-business resource portal that provides entrepreneurs with free access to more than 200 resource providers from across the commonwealth.

VT KnowledgeWorks – a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center – promotes entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers and a global network of cooperating regions.
Through its Entrepreneurship Alliance and Global Partnership initiatives, VT KnowledgeWorks assists communities in assessing and enriching their local entrepreneurial ecosystems.

“This is truly a unique opportunity to continue to move the needle on innovative community entrepreneurship and economic development efforts as we navigate the New Virginia Economy,” Haskins said in a statement.

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