The Second Income Entrepreneur: The "WV One Stop Business Center" is Only One of its Kind in Nation

By Mike Queen on March 17, 2022 from Second Income Entrepreneur via

The Second Income Entrepreneur (SIE) is a dedicated individual. We appreciate innovation and can fairly evaluate risk. I've been a second income entrepreneur for decades.  Some of my ventures and ideas did very well.  Others did not.  I'm glad that I attempted them all.
Second Income Entrepreneurs recognize, however, that our first and most important professional obligation is to our current employer - the company or agency that offers us a career opportunity with good wages and benefits that anchor our lifestyle.  Those benefits most often include affordable health insurance for our families, vacation days, and a retirement program.
What makes an individual an entrepreneur are the same characteristics that make us a good employee.  We are proud of our ability and interest in helping our employer address challenges and maximize opportunities in the workplace.  We are dedicated to being reliable to our employer and accountable for our time.  We are great listeners.  We're researchers and readers.  We dedicate ourselves to providing our managers and owners with solutions supported by data.  We are quick to recognize operational challenges and are not intimidated by the need for change or innovation.
We're team players that understand the importance of individual effort.  Most of us are encouraged by the opportunity to excel among our teammates when presented with a challenge that creates growth.
Over the last four years, the WV Secretary of State's Office helped to lead a statewide effort to identify and bring together the entrepreneurship ecosystem here in West Virginia.  As the State's Chief Business & Licensing official, Secretary of State Mac Warner understands how important it is to have and nurture a thriving small business sector in our economy.  We nurture entrepreneurs. He's encouraged me and members of our Business & Licensing team to do our part to make the business registration process as easy as possible.  
So we listened to those who work in the economic development, small business coaching, and entrepreneurship sectors.  We sought their input.  We asked for their help.  Then we reacted.  
Today, West Virginia operates "The WV One Stop Business Center" - the only five-agency, single location, business and licensing center in the nation.  The WV Secretary of State's Office is working with the WV State Tax Department, the WV Department of Labor, Workforce-WV and the WV Small Business Development Center to make it easy to start a new business here.  With expedited services, what once took as long as ten days to register a new business can now take less than two hours.
The entrepreneurship ecosystem is alive and well in West Virginia.  The pandemic reduced opportunities to collaborate in-person with other entrepreneurs but agencies, coaches, and entrepreneurship practicioners increased online and virtual opportunities to bring entrepreneurs together.  
One of the most exciting outcomes of bringing the entrepreneurship ecosystem together from all over the state is the creation of "The West Virginia BusinessLink".  The BusinessLink is an online tool for all entrepreneurs and small business owners.  The BusinessLink is hosted by the WV Small Business Development Center and it includes more than 140 agencies, development authorities, regional associations, educational institutions, and small business development professionals.  You can find out more by going to
I mentioned earlier that Second Income Entrepreneurs are loyal first to their employers.  I spend a lot of my time these days encouraging members of the state's ecosystem to remember that most SIE's can't attend conferences, webinars, and collaboration opportunities during the day.  We need to offer more opportunities after 6pm and on weekends if we really want to reach all of our entrepreneurs.
But there is one event here in West Virginia that is becoming a much anticipated annual opportunity for entrepreneurs to meet and learn together.  That event is the WV Entrepreneurship Conference and it is part of the Bridging Innovation week hosted by WV BusinessLink.  This year's conference runs from April 4-8 at the Convention Center in Charleston.  There is one day during the conference that I really want to encourage all entrepreneurs to attend.
On Tuesday, April 5, the Conference will host vendors, speakers, panel discussions, and breakout sessions for all who attend.  The cost to attend is just $20 per person.  Registration and more information on the schedule for that day can be found at
Information, collaboration, and education are all important to the entrepreneur.  The annual WV Entrepreneurship Conference is an event where you will find all three....and more.  For Second Income Entrepreneurs, attending the conference is an investment and well worth taking a day off from your 9-5 job.
Editor's Note: Mike Queen currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Communications for WV Secretary of State Mac Warner.  Mike is a former member of the WV Legislature and the Harrison County Board of Education.  He is resident of Bridgeport and a graduate of Marshall University. Photo courtesy of Mike Queen.

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