Registration Open for Virtual Minority, Women-Owned Business Workshop

Minority and women-owned business owners can earn certification at a virtual workshop Nov. 17.

Fashion designers in a meeting

The Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise division of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission will host its first virtual Arkansas Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Certification Assistance Workshop training Nov. 18, to help business owners learn more about the certification process for state vendors and available resources.

Arkansas Department of Commerce“Now more than ever, we want to do everything we can to bring valuable resources to our state’s minority and women-owned businesses,” Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston said. “This training will help guide eligible participants through the certification process that will increase the potential for contract opportunities through the state of Arkansas.”

According to a press release, the Certification Assistance Workshop provides attendees information and practical assistance for the state certification application process. Additionally, businesses learn how to connect with state contracting opportunities and about other certification benefits.

To be eligible, the business must be a for-profit company operating for at least two years. Participants must be interested in learning how to grow their business as well as in the benefits of the Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Certification program and have questions about the application process.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson and AEDC officials announced in August 2017 the state’s Small and Minority Business Program mission would expand to include women-owned businesses and be renamed the Division of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise by Act 1080 of 2017.

New annual spending targets for state of Arkansas were also set at that time at eight percent for minority businesses, five percent for women-owned, and two percent for service-disabled veterans in construction, goods and services, totaling 15 percent for vendors in those categories. Officials say they have not yet met those targets.

The training begins at 10 a.m. Nov. 18 and should last about an hour. Participants must RSVP through the AEDC Eventbrite page.