Building Entrepreneurial Economies (BEE)


 Building Entrepreneurial Economies innovation day

On Wednesday, December 6, DHCD will be bringing together experts to provide our partners with the inspiration to plan for, and create, a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem. Speakers will include Martin Kaszubowski of the Center for Enterprise Innovation, Michael Lenox of the Darden School at UVA, Annette Patterson of The Advancement Foundation, David Touve of i.Lab and others. Topics to be discussed will include:

Building Partnerships for an Entrepreneurship Ecosystem
Trends in Entrepreneurship
Resources for Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurial Thinking (Both Internally and Externally)
The Gig Economy: The Future of Work
Tools Available for Communities

The day will also allow for participants to discuss various aspects of DHCD's Building Entrepreneurial Economies (BEE) and Community Business Launch (CBL) programs with some of our past grantees, and we will have the opportunity to tour the i.Lab facility. This event is free, but registration is required as space is limited. Lunch will be provided for all attendees.



If you would like to discuss a potential project, Contact Tory McGowan at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (804) 371-7066 or Joy Rumley at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (276) 676-5471 ext 7.

The Building Entrepreneurial Economies (BEE) program provides grants and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations and local governments  that plan and implement innovative, comprehensive, strategic and sustainable business development strategies that support local and regional asset-based economic development. DHCD seeks to invest in strategies and projects that support entrepreneurs developing businesses. To deliver these services, these organizations also partner with banks, area businesses, educational institutions, each other and/or other private and public entities within the community. These organizations provide a service that often is not otherwise available and are designed to support the entrepreneur, even after accessing capital. BEE seeks to engage organizations that provide innovative processes to attract and assist micro-entrepreneurs.


BEE provides grants including Planning, Innovation and Implementation grants, with applications due at specific times throughout the year. All grants are available only to nonprofit and local and regional government entities that are interested in providing micro-entrepreneurial assistance and micro-financing to non-traditional entrepreneurs. For more information, see the Building Entrepreneurial Economies Program Design and Grants Application Manual. BEE does not provide direct grant assistance to entrepreneurs.

Program Resources

Helpful Links


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Building Entrepreneurial Economies (BEE) is the next evolution (iteration?) of Virginia’s commitment to micro-entrepreneurship.  Formerly known as Virginia Enterprise Initiative (VEI), BEE is taking a more local approach to developing stronger businesses that help build stronger communities.