Arkansas Human Development Corporation (AHDC) began its economic development program in 1987 with support from the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Office Community Services, Eastern Arkansas Private Industry Council and the Levi Strauss and Winthrop Rockefeller Foundations. These organizations jointly funded a series of demonstration programs designed to encourage and support entrepreneurial endeavors by youth and adults. In addition to training and small loans, funding supported an annual youth entrepreneurship conference and a quarterly newsletter entitled “Tomorrows Entrepreneurs.” During the 1990’s additional funding was provided by the United States Department of Human Services and current funding is provided by the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services (DWS) and the United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development.
Economic development activities currently include youth and adult entrepreneurship training, financial literacy, lender forums, rural and minority business development conferences targeting the African American, Hispanic and Latin populations, as well as rural communities..
The goals of AHDC’s economic development programs are to encourage and support youth and adult understanding of the world of work and the importance of small business development; encourage and demonstrate the value of a property using budgets and credit to maximize income, facilitate relationships between existing and potential entrepreneurs and members of the financial industry, and highlight the availability of business development resources.
Services are primarily targeted to youth and adults in rural communities, with an abundance of outreach to minority communities.
Services are provided through a collaborative network of public and private partners including state agencies, colleges, and universities, private financial institutions, secondary schools, and private non-profit organizations.
- Entrepreneurial training for youth and adults
- Lender forums
- Financial literacy forums
- Rural Business Development Conferences
- Minority Business Development Conferences
- Publication of “Tomorrows Entrepreneur”