The “MADE X MTNS” partnership has awarded $1250,000 in grants to be divided among 20 businesses and a variety of groups who are focused on the outdoor industry.

The funds come from the Outdoor Equity Fund created by the MADE X MTNS Partnership.

“The 20 grantees represent small businesses, sole proprietors, non-profits, and community groups, located across Western North Carolina’s 25 county footprint and the Qualla Boundary, all working to increase outdoor recreation access and economic opportunity,” the group says.

“The energy and enthusiasm for shaking up the outdoor industry and making it a more inclusive space from the applicants is inspiring. These proposals aren’t just about changing the outdoor economy field; they’re about deeply remembering our connection to the outdoors and redefining who gets to play and thrive in the great outdoors,” says Outdoor Equity Fund Working Group Facilitator, Iliana Hernandez.

What is WNC: MADE X MTNS Partnership?

The WNC: MADE X MTNS (Made By Mountains) Partnership is working to expand the outdoor industry and economy across North Carolina’s Appalachian region and catalyze rural development by building vibrant outdoor communities, growing outdoor businesses, and amplifying outdoor culture. The Partnership includes Outdoor Gear Builders of WNCMountain BizWorks, and the NC Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, as well as numerous stakeholders including regional universities, rural communities, economic development, and conservation organizations. With support from the Appalachian Regional Commission and Dogwood Health Trust, MADE X MTNS celebrates, supports, and builds a stronger sense of pride around our region, our people, and the extraordinary outdoor recreation industry and culture that these mountains have made. For more information, visit or @madexmtns

“There is no doubt that Western North Carolina’s beautiful outdoors attract folks from all around. Yet, there are people who have been systemically marginalized and have not been able to take advantage of the local environment or the outdoor economy.” says Working Group Facilitator, Iliana Hernandez.

The Dogwood Health Trust awarded MADE X MTNS a grant to help create the Outdoor Equity Fund.

Outdoor Equity Fund grantees include:

Find out more about each grantee’s project on the MADE X MTNS Website.