The Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center (SV SBDC), in partnership with the Research, Economic Development & Innovation Department at James Madison University, will be hosting a series of local information sessions with the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC) to educate local entrepreneurs and companies about technology development and commercialization grant funding opportunities.

The first session, “Grant Funding for Technology Development & Commercialization” will be March 18, 2024, from 11:30am – 2:00pm at the Shenandoah Valley SBDC, 220 University Blvd, Harrisonburg VA. The session will provide an overview of grant funding for Virginia-based companies and researchers who are developing early-stage technology. Discussions will also include information about federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant programs involving eleven agencies that award over $4B annually in $200K-$2M grants, and the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Commonwealth Commercialization Fund that provides $75K grants for small business and higher education technology development/commercialization. The session is free, but registration is required. Interested individuals should visit HERE to sign up.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Shenandoah Valley SBDC on an Info Session on Grant Funding for Technology Development & Commercialization. This event symbolizes our commitment to providing Virginia-based companies and researchers with the knowledge and resources necessary to navigate the complexities of grant funding successfully. Through our collaborative efforts and the JMU RD team’s client-centered approach, we are setting the stage for significant advancements in technology development and commercialization. Our goal is to empower our faculty, staff, and community partners in our region to maximize their grant activity success, ensuring that our innovative ecosystem continues to thrive,” said Tiffany Brutus, Research Development Associate/Co-Head Inclusive Excellence.

Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, these information sessions will assist Shenandoah Valley innovators, entrepreneurs, startups, ecosystems, and market development initiatives to accelerate early commercialization and find funding support to launch and grow new companies, create high paying jobs, and spur economic growth.

“Helping entrepreneurs and businesses understand eligibility and successfully apply for these grant programs can have an enormous impact on the speed at which early-stage technology is developed and brought to market. Connecting businesses to the resources that will facilitate research, development, and sustained growth is a major goal of the Shenandoah Valley SBDC, and this program is a wonderful way to introduce owners and entrepreneurs to a significant source of funding,” said SV SBDC Director Allison Dugan.

For more information, contact Allison Dugan, (540)568-3227,

The City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, along with partner agencies the Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center (SV SBDC) and Early Education Business Consultants, are providing a second round of special training and personalized assistance for local childcare providers and aspiring childcare providers. Free information sessions will be held February 28, March 12, and March 27, all at 6:00pm in Council Chambers, Harrisonburg City Hall, 409 S Main St, Harrisonburg. Harrisonburg or Rockingham County childcare providers and those wishing to become a childcare provider will be able to learn more about free support and potential funding for their services.

Participants are encouraged to register in advance at The goal of the effort is to provide participants with the tools and support they need to start, grow, and succeed as a childcare provider.

“Childcare services are a critical foundational aspect of our local economies. We are thrilled to be working with the City of Harrisonburg, and now Rockingham County, to provide targeted resources for existing businesses and individuals interested in starting an in-home or center-based business. In turn, we expect that developing new and improved options for working families in our region will be a boost for other industries as well,” said SV SBDC Director Allison Dugan.

The first round of the program kicked off in late 2023 for childcare businesses or prospective business owners located in the City of Harrisonburg. Responding to community feedback about a local shortage of childcare providers, Harrisonburg City Council set aside federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to be used toward supporting childcare programs in the community. Participants located in the City of Harrisonburg who complete the program and can demonstrate they have increased childcare spaces in their home or center may be eligible for ARPA grant funding from the City.

Rockingham County Board of Supervisors voted in mid-February 2024 to support the participation of existing or proposed childcare businesses located in Rockingham County in the training and personalized advising portion of the program.

More information on the program is available at

Grab your seat for the next Pulse HR Solutions seminar: Employment Law Updates in 2024 & Strategic Leadership: Beyond Buzzwords.

The Global Women in Entrepreneurship Showcase highlights female entrepreneurs. Browse, network, and enjoy light refreshments at this event.

The City of Harrisonburg, the Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center, and Early Education Business Consultants have teamed up to offer special training and personalized assistance to new or existing in-home or center-based childcare providers located in the City of Harrisonburg.

The Valley Business Summit features VA Secretary of Labor Bryan Slater, a local delegate panel, and a Business Resource Fair.

The 2023 JMU SWaM Vendor Fair is the local Small Business, Women- and Minority-Owned Business Vendor Networking Event of the year!

Tuesday, August 1st 2023, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – at the James Madison University Festival & Student Center Ballroom

Information for Vendors

The SWaM Vendor Fair will offer a wealth of contacts for marketing your goods and services and provide an opportunity to make personal contact with some of the 600+ JMU departmental buyers. The event is scheduled to take place at the James Madison University Festival Center on Tuesday, August 1st 2023. The morning will begin with a networking luncheon to meet with other SWaM vendors and the JMU Procurement Services buyers. As the fair gets underway in the afternoon, you’ll meet with many JMU departmental buyers and faculty as well as numerous buyers from other state, local, and private organizations.

Event Theme:“Back to the Future”
SWaM Vendor Fair Table Registration: $75

Register on the Event Website:

Information for Buyers

Small, Women-, and Minority-owned (SWaM) vendors from our local area and across the state will be on hand to talk about the goods and services they can provide to JMU and other state agencies.

Please come to meet them from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm at the James Madison University Festival & Student Center Ballroom and discover new opportunities for your purchasing dollars. This is an excellent opportunity to develop new supplier relationships or strengthen existing relationships with personal contact.

Parking is available at the Festival & Student Conference Center.

All buyers or parties from any organization wishing to visit the fair from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm are welcome to attend FREE of charge.

SBDC Day is a national celebration of the positive impact America’s Small Business Development Centers have on America’s small businesses. Join in a range of special events and offers on March 15.

The Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center is please to be partnering with the Gilliam Center for Entrepreneurship on this annual event!


In celebration of Global Women in Entrepreneurship Week, the Gilliam Center for Entrepreneurship is organizing a showcase to highlight local female entrepreneurs from throughout the Shenandoah Valley. At this event, participants will be able to showcase products and/or services, network with other entrepreneurial leaders, all while enjoying filling appetizers and sipping on wine.

In partnership with Women for Madison, Shenandoah Community Capital Fund, Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center, and the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, we aim to bring the JMU community and local community together to support female-led companies and learn from their stories.

The WEW Showcase will take place from 5 PM – 7:30 PM on Tuesday, October 18, 2022 located in the Festival Conference and Student Center Grand Ballroom.

The schedule will be as follows:

  • 5 – 6 PM: Open Exhibition. Meet the business owners, learn about their products, offerings, and their story!
  • 6 – 6:30 PM: Keynote Address from Guest Speaker
  • 6:30 – 7:30 PM: Additional Exhibition and Networking time with light refreshments

HOW DO I BECOME A VENDOR? — There will be a vendor fee of $30. Register HERE.

SETUP & PARKING — Load in will happen between 3 pm – 5 pm, and participants may pull up at the curb to unload merchandise. Parking Lots C12, D3, and R4 will be available for all vendors, partners, and attendees.

An 8′ table and a seat will be provided for each booth. If you need additional seating and/or a table, please email us at A floor plan layout and more information will be provided around mid-September.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022 marks the 6th Annual #SBDCDAY, a national, collective day to “celebrate and promote the impact America’s Small Business Development Centers have on the success of our nation’s dreamers, innovators, and doers.”