Artisans invited to apply for PA Wilds PACE business boot camp by March 4

Artisans invited to apply for PA Wilds PACE business boot camp by March 4

Applications close March 4, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. EST

How are you planning to grow in 2022? Do you know what your business will look like in 5-10 years?

Learn how to position your small business for growth in 2022 and beyond by leveraging the PA Wilds entrepreneurial ecosystem during the 2022 PA Wilds PACE Program business boot camp. 

The PA Wilds PACE Program is designed for entrepreneurs looking to scale their businesses and leverage the Pennsylvania Wilds brand and marketing opportunities.  It is the only cohort focused on helping businesses in the PA Wilds grow by leveraging the region’s place-based brand.  Valued at $2,500, the 2022 program is made available to Wilds Cooperative of PA members for free by the non PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. thanks to funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

Open to artisan producers participating in the Wilds Cooperative of PA, the 2022 cohort will help entrepreneurs look backward, forward and outward to set their businesses up for long-term success. Participants learn how to utilize their financial statements to project future business growth and will delve into how to better understand their audiences in order to strengthen messaging. Other topics to be covered include: how to price products or services for long-term sustainability, when and how to bring on additional staff, and resources available to regional entrepreneurs.  In addition, the 2022 cohort will have a strong focus on helping producers within the WCO value chain sell through PA Wilds commerce platforms and leverage the PA Wilds brand in their marketing efforts.

“Running a business is time-consuming, but taking the time to learn about and work on the components that make your business more efficient and more profitable can yield tremendous results and save time in the future,” explains Steve Brady, Executive Director of the Covation Center, the nonprofit organization that leads the curriculum during the cohort in collaboration with staff from the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc.


PA Wilds Center logo

“The Covation Center’s curriculum-based approach to helping entrepreneurs understand the core aspects of their businesses, combined with a hands-on look at all the opportunities that exist within the PA Wilds entrepreneurial ecosystem really make this a unique opportunity for regional businesses,” added LaKeshia Knarr, Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Director at the PA Wilds Center, which manages the Wilds Cooperative of PA.

The PA Wilds Center is aiming to help move more than $4M in local products and services in the region by 2030, in addition to growth opportunities presented by the PA Wilds $1.8B nature tourism industry. The PACE Program is designed to give entrepreneurs the tools needed to grow and take advantage of these new market opportunities tied to the PA Wilds brand.

Participants are asked to commit to the following:

  • Attending the kick-off event in Williamsport (one day event) in early April 2022. Date TBD based on participants’ availability.
  • Attending the conclusion event in Kane, PA (this will likely be a two-day event, depending on COVID-19) in May 2022. Dates TBD
  • Participating in virtual coursework for five weeks (the course will be delivered via Mighty Networks) – this will include 2 virtual meetings per week for 3-4 weeks.
  • Playing an active role in the discussions and completing the homework. This is so you can get the most out of the program.
  • Taking advantage of the 1:1 opportunities with business development and marketing professionals.
  • Becoming a seller on the PA Wilds Marketplace.

There are only 10 spaces available for the 2022 Cohort that starts in early April. Thanks to funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the PA Wilds PACE Program, valued at $2,500 per participant, is available at no cost to Wilds Cooperative members. 

Businesses not currently in the Wilds Cooperative of PA are invited to join the network to apply to participate and can learn more at


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