"Economic development is more important than ever in today's economy, and this program will help to create jobs in Arkansas by enabling and empowering people to start their own businesses," said Ed Franklin, executive director of the association.
The Arkansas Venture Forum last week outlined the importance of entrepreneurship. Citing figures from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Entrepreneurship Center, it said 70 percent of a nation's economic growth is typically attributed to entrepreneurship.
The Arkansas Venture Forum issued a call for entrepreneurs seeking capital to submit executive summaries by Aug. 29 for the sixth annual Arkansas Venture Conference.
The finalists will make presentations at the conference, set for Nov. 18-19 in Little Rock, which in the past has drawn interest from surrounding states, including venture capital firms and angel investors representing more than $500 million in capital.
Companies wishing to submit an application will find the guidelines at www.arkansasventureforum.com.
The schools in the consortium are Arkansas State University at Beebe, East Arkansas Community College, North Arkansas College, NorthWest Arkansas Community College, Ouachita Technical College, South Arkansas Community College, Southern Arkansas University Tech and University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville. Pulaski Technical College and Southeast Arkansas College will join in October.
This is a learning opportunity that all the state schools should embrace.