Entrepreneurship Policy Framework

Organizations collaborate to release Entrepreneurship Policy Framework

Over 20 organizations across the state advocate for entrepreneurial policy

CONWAY, AR – The Arkansas Entrepreneurship Policy Framework was released to advocate for Entrepreneurial policy change at the local, state, and national levels. Over 20 organizations across the state partnered to create the Policy Framework, which contains 56 recommendations for policymakers to lower barriers to entrepreneurship. The initiative was spearheaded by the Conductor and policy contributors include EforAll, The Generator, The Venture Center, Right to Start, Heartland Forward, The City of Conway, and the Paragould Regional Chamber of Commerce, to name a few.

In addition to advocating for policy change, the policy framework expands on the importance of entrepreneurship to the economy. According to the SBA, small business accounts for 65.1% of all net new job creation and accounts for 47.1% of all private sector employees. And According to the Kauffman Foundation, the average startup creates 4.74 new jobs in the first year.

“Through our work, we’ve seen how policy makes a huge difference in the viability of small business”, said Grace Rains, Conductor Executive Director “The Framework outlines recommendations that policymakers at all levels can adopt to lower barriers to entrepreneurship”.

The Entrepreneurship Policy Framework is the second iteration of the Conductor’s Arkansas Entrepreneurship Policy Map, which was released in 2020. The map was originally based on the work of the Kauffman Foundation with America’s New Business Plan and the Small Business Majority’s Policy Agenda. The newly released Policy Framework provides updates to those recommendations, along with new recommendations developed during the Arkansas Entrepreneurship Policy Summit this spring.

The Summit was hosted at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute and included policymakers, entrepreneur support organizations, and entrepreneurs from around the state. The group convened for three days to discuss the barriers to Arkansas small business owners and how these could be alleviated through policy changes, which was then used to create the recommendations for the new policy framework.

“The Economic Development Corporation of Paragould was honored to participate in the Conductor’s Arkansas Entrepreneurship Policy Summit.” said Allison Hestand, CEO & Director of Economic Development at the Paragould Regional Chamber of Commerce. “We feel it is important to support and remove barriers for entrepreneurs in Arkansas and that a balanced economy supports businesses of all shapes, sizes, and sectors. The policy framework will help ensure that the entrepreneurial eco-system in Arkansas will continue to thrive.”

The Conductor is launching the new Arkansas Entrepreneurship Policy Framework with a Small Business Policy Luncheon, funded by The State Science & Technology Institute, a non profit that strengthens initiatives to create a better future through science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. Congressman French Hill will speak, and attendees will include collaborating organizations, local entrepreneurs, policymakers, and key stakeholders.

More information can be found on the Arkansas Entrepreneurship Policy Framework at https://www.arconductor.org/policy-framework.

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