Under the community navigator approach, trusted community partners act as “spokes.” Each spoke will reach into specific sectors of the state’s entrepreneurial community. As the “hub,” ASBTDC will provide centralized support and structure for the spokes.
Arkansas Business Navigator spokes include the following.
Arkansas Human Development Corporation
The mission of AHDC is to improve the lives of individuals, families and communities through collaborative initiatives. The organization has sought to achieve its mission through forty-nine years of service. Since its creation that organization has served thousand of families through a variety of current programs, including workforce development, health outreach education, and a variety of rural business services designed to connect residents with business capital and technical assistance. Former programs administered by AHDC include youth and adult entrepreneurship training, micro-enterprise lending, self-help housing development, and YOUTHBUILD.
Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce
The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas is the leading voice for business at the State Capitol and serves as the primary business advocate on all issues affecting Arkansas employers. Our mission is to continually enhance the state’s economic climate by promoting a pro-business, free-enterprise agenda and preventing anti-business legislation, regulations, and rules.
AR Biz Assist, a program of the State Chamber, aims to connect small businesses with resources needed to ensure they can not only attain, but sustain success.
We serve statewide to connect small business to resources in their community through networking and event planning.
Central Arkansas Library System
The Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) is the largest library system in Arkansas. Created in 1975, the system includes fifteen branches located in Pulaski and Perry counties. The mission of CALS is to provide resources and services to help residents reach their full potential, and to inspire discovery, learning, and cultural expression. CALS has a service population of 344,553 people.
One of CALS's newest programs is Rock It! Lab, a partnership of the library system and Advancing Black Entrepreneurship. This learning and start-up hub promotes entrepreneurship, particularly in under-resourced communities. Located in the Cox Building at 120 River Market Avenue in downtown Little Rock, the Rock It! Lab was developed as a place for aspiring business owners to access useful, reliable, and free information to aid them throughout the process of starting their company. Join our program and receive acces to our free spaces: 501 Makers Makerspace, the Village co-working space, and the River Shop retail and vendor training space.
We serve entrepreneurs in the Central Arkansas area.
Leah Patterson, Rock It! Lab Program Coordinator
Conexión de Negocios Latinos
Conexión de Negocios Latinos (CNL) is a non-profit entrepreneurship support organization that seeks to promote, educate, and support Latino entrepreneurs in Arkansas. CNL aims to help Latino businesses in Arkansas thrive by cultivating healthy relationships between businesses, connecting them to resources and referrals, and giving them information that they can use to grow. Through leadership development, networking opportunities, services, and promotion of Latino businesses, CNL empowers Latino entrepreneurs to be involved politically, socially, and within their communities. Ultimately, CNL hopes to see prosperity among Latino business owners in Arkansas, and in turn, prosperity for Arkansas as a whole.
East Arkansas Enterprise Community
East Arkansas Enterprise Community is a community economic development organization based in Forrest City, AR. Our mission is to promote economic and social development programs and to provide technical assistance to small business, farmers, and landowners in eastern Arkansas, especially those that are socially disadvantaged. Our office also features a business technology space that can be utilized for training, events, and co-working for small businesses.
We currently serve the following counties: Lee, Monroe, Phillips and St. Francis.
Phoenix Youth & Family Services
Phoenix Youth & Family Services (PYFS), Inc. is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) status organization founded in 1995. Our mission is to help to youth and families navigate historic and systemic inequities in resources, power, and opportunity. The organization has a wealth of experience in helping young people in the Arkansas Delta access safe pathways and strong supports to become healthy and productive citizens as adults. PYFS connects with public, private, and non-profit organizations to find solutions, build capacity, and channel resources into local communities.
We profide services to the following counties: Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, Desha and Drew.
(870) 364-1676 or (870) 510-1854
UADA Cooperative Extension
UADA Cooperative Extension has worked in Arkansas for over 100 years. With offices in all 75 counties, Extension programming includes agricultural research and education, 4-H and youth development, family and consumer sciences, and community and economic development. The Community, Professional, and Economic Development (CPED) unit offers a variety of programs and resources to support community development, strategic planning, public policy issues education, economic development, business support, leadership development, ag education, local government, voter education, and workforce development.
The Extension Business Navigators will work in two regions: north central (Sharp, Izard, Fulton, Independence, Randolph, Lawrence, Baxter, and Stone counties) and southwest (Howard, Little River, Pike, Sevier, Polk, Hempstead, and Miller counties). These Regional Program Coordinators will be holding one-on-one counseling sessions and information events in-person and virtually. They will also be creating an online resource website, featuring a video series library, breaking down entrepreneur needs. Additionally, they will be hosting a bi-weekly podcast highlighting SBA resources, Community Navigator activities, and relevant business news. They will primarily focus on small business needs and work to address challenges facing BIPOC, women, veteran, and military entrepreneurs.
Brandon L. Mathews, MPS