Mission: Accelerating Appalachia educates nature based businesses, organizations, and individuals with a shared passion for the natural world, thereby catalyzing business growth, fostering social justice and supporting positive ecological impacts. Values: Environmental sustainability, business sustainability, fair wages, providing resources to underserved populations Goals and Objectives: As the first “nature-based business” accelerator in the world, we seek to accelerate a post-extractive, regenerative economy for Appalachia and the planet. Why Appalachia? Appalachia is the third most biodiverse region on the planet and THE most agrobiodiverse foodshed in the US, Canada and Northern Mexico with over 1500 heirloom seeds under cultivation. This abundance is juxtaposed against a historically extractive economy of coal, logging, tobacco, poverty and health crises. For many years, Kentucky and West Virginia alone provided 40% of the nations energy needs, but few benefited; these states are still the poorest in the country with high rates of chronic illness. As coal disappears, following other declining “natural resource-based” extractive industries, studies show that the strongest economic gains for communities are being made by small and medium businesses. Our program has been created to accelerate these businesses and entrepreneurs in “nature-based business” (NBB) sectors. A NBB economy doesn’t see nature as a “resource” to be extracted, but through it’s processes, regenerates soil, water, air and people.