Entrepreneurs to receive free business assistance through the Conductor’s Rural Growth Initiative.
CONWAY – The Conductor, a public-private partnership between the University of Central Arkansas and Startup Junkie, today announced the initial roll out of the Office Hours program, which consists of free one-on-one coaching from business and entrepreneurial leaders from the Conductor team.
Meetings will be hosted throughout the eleven county footprint in Central Arkansas where the Conductor has begun to expand through it’s Rural Growth Initiative funded by the Small Business Administration’s Regional Innovation Cluster program.
The first round of Office Hours will be led by Conductor Managing Director Jeff Standridge, who will visit with entrepreneurs and small business owners in Johnson, Pope, White, Conway, Cleburne, and Lonoke counties.
“One of the primary goals of the Conductor is to reduce barriers for underserved entrepreneurs and small business owners,” said Standridge.
“By reaching people where they are, we have eliminated the geographical challenges that can prevent some from receiving the support they need to grow a successful business. I look forward to visiting the surrounding areas and providing coaching opportunities to the rural entrepreneurs who need it most.”
Future Office Hours community visits will include coaching sessions in Yell, Logan, Pulaski, Van Buren, and Perry counties. Overall, the Conductor will impact communities that house 19 Opportunity Zones in rural regions as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau through it’s Rural Growth Initiative.
“Central Arkansas has a rich pool of entrepreneurial talent that includes those who live in rural areas, people of color, Veterans, and women,” said Tiffany Henry, Rural Director of the Conductor. “Unfortunately, those are also the people that have historically been left behind in regards to small business assistance and support. The Conductor’s Rural Growth Initiative gives us the opportunity to focus specifically on these incredible people and provide the resources they need to be successful.”
Anyone with an interest in entrepreneurship is eligible to participate in Office Hours coaching. Discussion topics will range from innovative problem solving, marketing solutions, talent development, business scale strategies and more.
“The Conductor has an incredible network of subject matter experts and mentors who are extremely qualified to support entrepreneurs of all stages,” said Grace Rains, Director of Operations for the Conductor. “From engineering and design support found in our Makerspace, to STEM resources provided by our Outbound Programming, and our numerous partners who play key roles in our 10x Growth Accelerator, the Conductor can connect a founder with the ideal expert to help them on their entrepreneurial journey.”
As the Conductor continues to grow its services, it is also growing its team by hiring five Community Development Officers who will serve as regional catalysts to foster a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, while creating a network of Conductor offerings across Central Arkansas. Due to funding by the Small Business Administration, all of these offerings, including the Office Hours coaching sessions, are completely free. To view the current Office Hours communities or to schedule a free coaching session, visit https://www.arconductor.org/rural.
For additional information about joining the Conductor team, visit https://www.arconductor.org/careers.