The Arkansas Women’s Business Center (AWBC) assists Arkansas-based emerging and established women entrepreneurs, a representative number of them socially and economically disadvantaged. Since its inception in April 2011, the AWBC has seen a flurry of activity. The AWBC staff has:
• counseled 57 clients for a total of 440 hours;• connected two clients to programs that are creating new websites for their businesses;• connected one client to a program that created and produced 250 brochures;• assisted clients with the development of comprehensive business plans, and • helped five new businesses open their doors.
In addition, the AWBC and South Arkansas Community College’s Continuing Education Division partnered together to offer OperationJump Start, an award-winning comprehensive business development training program in El Dorado that began February 20, 2012. There are currently 10 participants in the program with business ideas ranging from producing jams and jellies to starting an indoor shooting range.
The AWBC also has facilitated a number of community projects designed to spur the creation and expansion of small businesses. Examples include:
Mistletoe Market. In November, the AWBC in partnership with South Arkansas Community College Community Education hosted the 1st Annual Mistletoe Market. The market brought together 48 small businesses that showcased their products to sell to the public. The market was successful with over 800 people in attendance.
“Gone in 60 Seconds” Elevator Pitch Competition. The competition is a networking event open to entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs who want to pitch their brightest ideas to local investors and business leaders. This event will be held in El Dorado, Ark. at the Rialto Theater on April 19, 2012.
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