Our Model


The Advancement Foundation (TAF), a nonprofit founded in 2007 works in concert with economic and community development organizations to execute key strategies that provide infrastructure, support, and resources to create an effective entrepreneurial ecosystem. TAF has researched, tested, and refined specific initiatives that help unify activities for small business development, increase support, and leverage resources to provide measurable impact on small business development for the communities it serves.

The Advancement Foundation is a catalyst that strategically leverages community resources and alliances to expand our region’s economic success with dynamic business development strategies.  The Advancement Foundation creates opportunities for dynamic community development by facilitating opportunities that empower citizens. TAF leads efforts that focus on asset development of citizens in the areas of home buying, business development, financial management and wellness by leveraging community resources that break down barriers for the undeserved.  We believe that community improvement requires the coordinated efforts of the entire community and that change cannot be mandated but instead must be fostered through engagement and empowerment.

TAF continues to expand its reach each year to promote local small business development and regional unity with a highly coordinated succession of intensive strategies. The repetition of target initiatives is proving to provide powerful leverage in building and sustaining the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

TAF is uniquely positioned to provide both locality specific initiatives, as well as cross regional synergies to assist communities. As a trusted community partner with economic development offices, chambers, Main Street organizations, Virginia Tourism, DHCD, Small Business Development Centers, SBA, USDA, libraries and others, TAF is able to implement projects efficiently and effectively.

TAF implements numerous initiatives including; 1. The Gauntlet, Virginia’s largest business program and competition, now in its 5th year has trained and supported over 300 entrepreneurs, 2. Community Investment Fund which has awarded over $600,000 in small business grants, and in-kind awards and loan funds,  3. Secured over $300,000 in grants and sponsorships for the communities we serve, 4. Provided over 200 AmeriCorps member resources for community development, 5. Created and managed the first Business Incubation Center in Roanoke County, 6. Purchased and rehabilitation of mixed use properties, 7. Created and manage the first Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Councils, 8. Established, train, and engage Virginia’s largest Mentor Network of over 250 community leaders.

The challenge for most localities is the need to maintain a broad vision, while also implementing effective strategies with limited manpower and resources. TAF is serving its partner localities by building the “Ark” that will attract and retain small-medium sized business assets. TAF’s leadership and execution of multiple micro and macro level efforts is helping to avoid many coordination failures across our region.

Through a combination of support services focused on coordinating financial resources, training, community engagement, mentoring, and cluster based initiatives, TAF is able to impact measurable growth for the communities we serve.

Join the conversation and get involved in our process, today. Learn how you can get involved here.