Free Business Accelerator Program Aims to Expand Entrepreneurship in Northwest Arkansas

The nonprofit will provide underrepresented individuals with targeted training, mentorship and support.

Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll), a nonprofit with a mission to accelerate economic and social impact through inclusive entrepreneurship, is launching a free, year-long Business Accelerator program in the Northwest Arkansas community with financial support from the Walton Family Foundation. These programs will also be offered through EforAll’s Spanish program, EparaTodos.

EforAll helps underrepresented individuals successfully start and grow their businesses or nonprofits across a wide range of industries, including personal and professional services, food, retail, manufacturing and technology. The program offers a unique combination of immersive business training, dedicated mentorship from local business and community leaders, and access to a large professional network – along with the opportunity to win seed money, according to a press release. 

“This region has enjoyed tremendous economic success, but community and business leaders recognize the need to create a more inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem to meet the needs of all its residents,” EforAll CEO David Parker said. “We believe EforAll and EparaTodos will fill that void by helping those who may not have access to the right resources or tools start a business and have their own opportunity to flourish in the local community.”

Among the more than 500 businesses started by EforAll participants, 58 percent are owned by people of color and 46 percent are owned by immigrants. These businesses generated more than $25 million in revenue and created 720 local jobs in 2019.

“EforAll’s bilingual business accelerator programs will offer Latinx entrepreneurs in the region the confidence, support and networks they need to start their businesses,” said Jeannette Balleza Collins, entrepreneurial development director for the Northwest Arkansas Council. “It’s energizing to consider the power of more inclusive engagement and representation in our diversifying community.”

EforAll’s Business Accelerator programs as well as its first community Pitch Contests – a free event open to everyone that offers an opportunity to validate a business idea, win cash prizes, network with local business owners, and meet potential customers – will launch this summer in both English and Spanish.

Currently, EforAll is looking for an executive director and two program managers for the Northwest Arkansas community. More information about the nonprofit and its programs is available on its website.