The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want.
The end of World War II saw the rise of an industrial development age in Arkansas that was designed to move the economy of the state away from its agricultural roots and more toward a manufacturing base. Beginning in 1955 with the creation of the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission - today known as the Arkansas Economic Development Commission - and followed in rapid succession in 1957 by the creation of the Arkansas Capital Corporation, the state's push to manufacturing began to pay off.
For two decades, the per capita income in Arkansas rose from 60 percent of the national average in 1955 to 78 percent in 1978. Manufacturing employment in Arkansas as a percent of total employment increased from 27 percent to 33 percent.
Then, somewhere between the mid-1970s and today, Arkansas came to an economic crossroads. Manufacturing slumped. Worse, the per capita income in Arkansas plateaued at 78 percent. A study released in 2005 showed that Arkansas ranked 47th in total personal income per capita in the United States. Census Bureau information from 2007 ranks Arkansas 48th overall.
Something has to change.
Obviously, being ranked so low is not attractive to bringing business to our state. In order to be economically competitive, we must change. Part of that change involves moving again - this time away from the manufacturing base to a knowledge-based Arkansas economy that is built on innovation and entrepreneurship. An economy that is not required to recruit from outside the state to build business; instead, it would look within the state's own boundary lines and draw from a talent pool that has produced some of today's leading businessmen.
The Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation and the Arkansas Capital Corporation Group are spearheading that movement. Through programs like Y.E.S! for Arkansas and the Donald W. Reynold's Governor's Cup, AEAF and ACCG are helping grow the next generation of business leaders. As part of that growth process, we've created this page as a clearing house of entrepreneurial information, a place to come to find up-to-date information on entrepreneurial endeavors around Arkansas and the United States as well as historical reference reports on the economic history of Arkansas. It is our hope you will bookmark this page and come back to it frequently.
Arkansas is truly at a crossroads. We have a choice - make a change and move forward or languish in the past at 48th. Now is the time to decide.
enterprise center documents
Community planning resources
AEDC Strategic Plan Baby Boom Migration and Its Impact on Rural AmericaCharacteristics of New Firms A Comparison by Gender Creative Discovery Reconsidering the Relationship Between Entrepreneurship and InnovationEducating the Next Wave of Entrepreneurs (Exec Summary)RichState_PoorState ALEC Laffer State Economic Competitiveness IndexThe Future Just Happened
Building a 21st Century Economy in ArkansasRevitalizing Rural Economics Through Entrep Devlopmnt Sys Small Business and Micro Business Lending in the US SmallTownsStudy_UNCTurning Point Accelerate Arkansas (Exec Summary)What Works for Small Businesses