The initiative will provide free support to underrepresented entrepreneurs.
Rodrigo Salas has been appointed executive director of Entrepreneurship for All’s free English and Spanish Business Accelerator programs in Northwest Arkansas. EforAll is a nonprofit with a mission to accelerate economic and social impact through inclusive entrepreneurship.
After announcing the launch of EforAll and EparaTodos in the community earlier this year, applications for the Winter 2022 accelerators are now open for both English and Spanish speaking residents in the region.
EforAll’s Business Accelerator program as well as its Spanish language program, EparaTodos, help underrepresented entrepreneurs start and grow successful businesses. These one-year programs use a combination of practical business training, dedicated mentorship from local business and community leaders, and access to a large professional network, according to a press release. These programs are offered at no cost twice a year in Northwest Arkansas.
As executive director, Salas will run both the EforAll and EparaTodos programs. Originally from Mexico, he is now the founder of a Bentonville-based startup. In addition to 20 years in various marketing, strategic and directorial roles, Salas took his company, Kualli Foods, from a concept to a successful business with distribution in more than 400 grocery stores nationwide. His family-run business, Molli Sauces, was founded in 2013 as a subsidiary of Kualli Foods.
“Being an entrepreneur myself, I’m aware of the challenges and hurdles to launching a business,” Salas said. “I’m thrilled by the opportunity to join an organization like EforAll and support entrepreneurs who may lack access to the mentorship, networking and skills they need to be successful, especially women, people of color, and Hispanic and immigrant entrepreneurs in the Northwest Arkansas region.”
Salas will be joined by Ana Ortiz, the program’s newly hired EparaTodos program manager. Ortiz is a first-generation college graduate who has more than 10 years of retail sales, teaching and small business consulting experience, and owns her own photography business.
The deadline for the EparaTodos and EforAll Business Accelerator programs is Oct. 28. The programs begin the week of Jan. 10, 2022.