Empowering women-owned businesses in ArkansasRATIONALE
In Arkansas, the percentage of women-owned small businesses is on the rise. To support this rising trend, Winrock International will expand its substantial portfolio of entrepreneurial development programs and host a Women's Business Center (WBC) in Arkansas. The Arkansas Women's Business Center (AWBC) will help women-owned small businesses start, grow, and compete in global markets by providing quality training, counseling, and access to capital.
Winrock's goal is to address development challenges that affect communities across the country. Objectives include:
• stabilizing local economies by providing immediate assistance to small disadvantaged businesses adversely effected by industry crisis,
• creating new sources of income through entrepreneurship,
• incorporation of innovative approaches to move inventions and new service concepts toward viable commercial enterprises, and
• promote gender equity through entrepreneurship.
Winrock will begin the program by serving a 17-county region in south Arkansas and expanding into new territories in subsequent years until services are offered throughout the state. The Arkansas Women's Business Center will be located in El Dorado, Arkansas, a location currently experiencing an economic crisis with the closing of a large poultry plant. In addition, the whole southern portion of Arkansas has been hit hard by plant closures, relocations, and the overall economic downturn. Activities include increasing access to training, counseling services, and capital for women entrepreneurs.