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Tourism Business Incubator

Business Meeting

Vision: UPLIFT understands that supporting Rural NC communities expands local economic development by local businesses participation in tourism.

Mission: The UPLIFT Incubator aims to support rural North Carolina tourism business owners access to resources for business development. This 8-session program provides knowledge and skill development by industry experts to support rural tourism businesses in North Carolina thrive and scale.

UPLIFT’s Tourism Business Incubator is committed to ensuring participants:

  • Identify & select appropriate business practices.

  • Assess their mindset and develop habits that turn adversity into opportunity.

  • Develop skills to establish or scale a tourism business.

  • Establish a network of regional and statewide rural tourism business owners.

Participants: The target audiences for the tourism incubator are businesses, sites or attractions looking to scale or diversify their current operations as well as new tourism startups. Participants do not need to be physically located in UPLIFT's core regions, but all, or a significant portion of, the tourism services or activities offered by participating organizations/entrepreneurs should occur within the 'core' UPLIFT regions (see map of UPLIFT regions on homepage here). Each cohort will be limited to 30 enrollees.

Participant Requirements for Completion: Attend 80% of all live (online or in-person) sessions + Complete 90% of the Tourism Business Strategies. Throughout the incubator participants will have access to industry experts, mentors/coaches to support learning, comprehensive business strategies, networking with regional and local industry businesses, and more.

Participants who complete the Tourism Business Incubator will secure a customized:

  • Marketing strategy + 90-second promo video

  • Sales strategy

  • Legal & tax checklist

  • Staffing strategy

  • Funding strategy

  • Partnership/collaboration strategy

  • and more

When & Where: The incubator sessions are scheduled twice a month to maintain skill development momentum, knowledge sharing, and networking. Sessions will be held primarily online with three (3) periodic face-to-face meetings (session 1 kickoff, midpoint, closing session) in a central location.

Incubator Schedule

See the list of session topics

Participant Application

Invest in your business and apply

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