The Conductor started a mission to advocate for entrepreneurial policy in 2020 by releasing the Arkansas Entrepreneurial Policy Map and launching the Coalition to Advance Arkansas Entrepreneurship. This movement has evolved in the last two years to include the entire state, local, and state government leaders.
The Arkansas Entrepreneurial Policy Map, in collaboration with Startup Junkie, serves as a resource to advocate for entrepreneurs in our state through policy and legislative recommendations to lower barriers to entrepreneurship. Through continued collaboration with the Kauffman Foundation and Conway Foundation, Conductor had the opportunity to explore more in-depth challenges and barriers Arkansan entrepreneurs face by hosting the 2022 Entrepreneurial Policy Summit.
The three-day summit consisted of about 50 guests, including community leaders, entrepreneurs, city officials, state-wide partners, and entrepreneurial support organizations representing Arkansas’s Northwest, Northeast, Central, Southwest, and Southeast regions. Guest speakers and facilitators guided discussions of region-specific barriers and issues around entrepreneurship. Findings of the summit brought awareness to entrepreneurial barriers that had characteristics of rural or urban areas of Arkansas rather than regionality. Additional results reinforced the importance of the recommendations in the original Policy Map.
To continue this advocacy movement, the Conductor team is working on updating the Arkansas Entrepreneurial Policy Map, which will build on the policy map released in 2020 and updates reflected in the latest version of America’s New Business Plan, which “offers a nonpartisan policy road map to create a more inclusive economy by building a prepared workforce and concentrating on entrepreneur-focused economic development.”
Advocating for Arkansas entrepreneurial policy can maximize the knowledge of the environment in which entrepreneurship is taking place and how it impacts our entrepreneurial communities. Most importantly, it is a way to advocate for entrepreneurs to have a leveled playing field where their voices are heard, needs are met, and they have the best chance to start a business or grow their business.