The Conductor and the Conway Foundation have partnered with the Kauffman Foundation to create five regional entrepreneurship policy maps.
The project builds on the policy map released by the Conductor last year, which created a Four Pillar framework for advocating for policies that support entrepreneurs, innovators, and makers across the state. The purpose of the regional policy maps is to create region-specific policy maps that can be used by economic development groups, entrepreneurial support organizations, and community leaders to advocate for policies that reduce barriers for Arkansas entrepreneurs.
“We believe that by fostering activity that supports the pillars of talent creation, entrepreneurial culture, community engagement, and access to capital, Arkansas will be better equipped to support and grow companies that will positively impact the economic landscape of our state,” said Ericka Gutierrez, outreach and engagement manager for Conductor.
The regional policy maps will be split into the four pillars of the Arkansas Regional Policy Map: Talent, Culture, Engagement, and Capital. The five regions of Arkansas the maps will reflect are Northwest, Northeast, Central, Southwest, Southeast. Statewide partners will be included in all regional policy maps.
To begin the development of the regional policy maps, there will be a summit with local leaders from each region to address the specific needs of those areas. The summit will be invitation-only, hosted in Spring of 2022 with guest speakers from Kauffman Foundation, national policy advisors, and Congressman French Hill.
A pre-event survey will be distributed statewide to collect feedback on specific policy challenges and entrepreneur stories to help guide the policy maps and work for the summit. Post-event, all recommendations will be compiled and disseminated to participants for feedback and input, and then the regional policy maps will be released.
“The Kauffman Foundation has well-documented the multiple barriers existing which hinder entrepreneurial success,” said Mark Stodola, Kauffman Foundation Mayor’s Council member. “Many of these are found in state and local government policies and regulations and in the regulatory framework of the financial community. As a member of the Mayor’s Council of the Kauffman Foundation, I am excited about the opportunity to drill down on the specific regional policies and regulations that need to be changed in order for entrepreneurs to maximize their success.”
Key leaders from each region will be asked to participate in a launch of the policy maps to key stakeholders, which will include federal, state, county, and municipal leadership. These leaders will also be charged with identifying one recommendation in their region’s map that they commit to seeing implemented by 2023. The Conductor will provide continued support and engage members, as well as aid in the promotion of each regional policy map.
The Conway Foundation was founded in 2009 as an educational and charitable corporation. The Conway Foundation is a public benefit corporation and is organized exclusively for charitable, scientific, literary, and educational purposes.
The Conductor, a public-private partnership with the University of Central Arkansas and Startup Junkie, drives innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic empowerment in central Arkansas through high-impact programming, one-on-one consulting, commercialization support, talent development, collaboration, and maker training and rapid prototyping in UCA’s Makerspace, powered by the Conductor, which is free-of-charge to students and the community.
To get involved with the Regional Entrepreneurship Policy Map Summit, or the work in general, reach out to Ericka Gutierrez at Ericka@ARConductor.org.