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There are several organizations and assistance programs offered by the Federal and State government to assist small business owners.
These organizations can help business owners develop a business plan, assist in buying a business, expand an existing business, understand the financial implications of starting a business and a variety of other topics relating to business ownership. These are important go-to resources for helping a business get up and running in Arkansas. Most of the time, these centers assist any for-profit businesses, such as those in the food, contracting and retailing industries, ranging from home-based to high-tech.
Here in Arkansas, many organizations have programs and workshops offered in Spanish.
Through its offices around the state, the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC) works with all types of for-profit businesses.
Startups can receive one-on-one consulting and cutting-edge market research at no charge or expand their expertise by participating in the center’s affordable educational events.
The one-on-one consulting services provided by ASBTDC are confidential and tailored to their client needs. Whether they are first-time entrepreneurs or an established business looking for a competitive edge, ASBTDC's first goal is to help them to succeed.
In 2022, the city of Little Rock launched Emprende, a program of the BUILD Academy that offers Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs and business owners from Little Rock a series of free classes on setting up, operating and making a business. This program provides knowledge, resources and necessary connections to ensure that the Spanish-speaking community is fully included and contributes to Little Rock's economy.
In 2022, the program had 19 participants, and registered seven of them as new suppliers within the city. In addition, there was an increase of 22% in business network participants.
To learn more about Emprende, visit littlerock.org and look for the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion tab.
Arkansas Business Navigator
The Arkansas Business Navigator Project (ABN) seeks to assist businesses with access to capital, business development, contracting and procurement, marketing, operations and exporting. Their goal is to help small businesses address and overcome some systemic challenges entrepreneurs in underrepresented communities face.
This organization provides a platform for small businesses and entrepreneurs in minority, rural, and other underserved communities across the state.
The Community Navigator Pilot Program, part of theÃ¢¯American Rescue Plan, is designed to reduce barriers that all small businesses, including those from underrepresented and underserved groups, often face in accessing critical support.
To learn more about the project, visit arbusinessnavigator.com