guest commentary from Grant Tennille, executive director, Arkansas Economic Development Commission
There’s something in the water.
How else do you explain the success that Arkansas entrepreneurs have enjoyed over the past 50 years? There is no precedent for a state with a population of less than three million to spawn business titans such as Sam Walton, Don Tyson, J.B. Hunt, Jack and Witt Stephens, Forrest Wood, Charles Morgan and dozens of others. Clearly, Arkansas provides an environment that promotes entrepreneurial achievement. Maybe that’s why Arkansas produces more entrepreneurs, per capita, than any other state in the nation.
Our success has been a bit of a well-kept secret, though, and that must change. We need to spread the word – to all corners of the globe – that Arkansas is a great location to start a new business, to relocate an existing business, to flourish and grow. To do this, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission is kicking off a new campaign, Arkansas Favors The Bold, to showcase iconic Arkansans and inspire entrepreneurs and business owners that if you can dream it, you can make it happen in Arkansas.
The innovative, interactive website is optimized for today’s digital devices and makes it easy to share Arkansas's story. On the site, you will find stories and videos on some of Arkansas's most iconic individuals, who put Arkansas's unique advantages to work for them and now flourish on the global stage. The site also highlights Arkansas’s strategic advantages, such as limitless location, spirited workforce, abundant industries, balanced lifestyle and an amenable business climate. These elements will answer questions that business leaders might have while considering Arkansas as their new home.
Coming soon, we will also feature rising Arkansas entrepreneurs and future game changers. We are committed to seeking out and featuring bold thinkers in an effort to celebrate individuals whose inspiration and effort keep Arkansas strong.
We are competing in a global economy, but Arkansas has much to offer to prospective businesses. The campaign truly captures the entrepreneurial spirit of Arkansans, and makes it abundantly clear that there is something very special about our state.
With this initiative, we will market all that Arkansas has to offer more effectively than ever before. We intend to advertise the new campaign to site consultants, business decision makers and allies to showcase the improved technological capabilities of the state. We believe that this campaign will generate business prospects, and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission along with Governor Mike Beebe will be here to welcome them and work together toward success.
Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, once said, “The secret to success is everyone working together. A workforce united by the right mixture of education, training and pride can elevate a start-up of bold ideas to an international enterprise that revolutionizes business.”
Now, we need every Arkansan to work together, to play a role in spreading the word about our state. Take a moment and visit ArkansasFavorsTheBold.com. If you believe that the site tells a compelling story about your home, if you learn something new about Arkansas, if what you see makes you proud to be an Arkansan, send a link to your friends, neighbors and business associates. Post it to Facebook. Tweet about it. Help us to tell our story, and be a part of the next great wave of business success in Arkansas.