Best Small Business Resources in the Little Rock Area

Small map with pin depicting Little Rock, AR

Starting a business is a life-changing experience. Arkansas has dozens of great resources to help entrepreneurs get started. Our team researched and vetted organizations in the Little Rock area and compiled our list of recommended resources in this article.

You can also read our guide to starting a business in Arkansas.

Resources Available in your Area

The Venture Center

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Coworking
  • Networking

Accepts Walks In

Description

The Venture Center provides several programs that include networking, pitch competitions, Hackathon, etc., all at affordable rates. Their programs are split between members-only events and "community" events that are open to the public. They also offer 2 pre-accelerator programs that progressively guide an entrepreneur through the initial development stage. With an annual membership, members of the Venture Center get access to the common area and meeting space, three mentoring sessions, membership only networking events and workshops, plus discounts for other programs. While much of the programming is aimed at tech-based companies, the mentoring network and events are open to startups in any industry.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

The Venture Center , 417 Main St.
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-404-9875
founders@venturecenter.co


Arkansas Capital

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Fundraising

Description

Arkansas capital offer SBA loans to startups and existing business, especially those who do not meet the requirement for traditional bank financing. With 3 loans offices in Arkansas, they offer loan products such as SBA 504, USDA B&L, and SBA7(A). Their AEAF (Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation) hosts statewide business plan competitions for students at the collegiate level and grades 5-8, in which students receive cash prizes and possible mentoring.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

200 River Market Ave., Suite 400
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-374-9247

HOURS OF OPERATION:

MON - FRI: 8 am - 5 pm


Arkansas SBTDC

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Financial

Offers Free Service

Description

The greatest strength of the SBDC is their free, confidential, 1-on-1 business mentoring for anyone who seeks it. Sometimes in order to be considered for mentoring from one of their professional business advisors, you may have to attend a class/workshop or at least present your business plan. SBDC's are located all throughout the state and you should use the SBDC closest to your location if possible, but you can often transfer to a different location if they do not fit your needs.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

2801 S University Ave, 260 Reynolds Business Center
Little Rock, AR 72204


Lift Fund

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Business Planning
  • Fundraising
  • Financial

Description

LiftFund is a non-profit organization across 13 states that provides startup loans of up to $50,000 and small business loans up to $1 million. They also offer some online courses and templates on financial and business management free of cost.

Restrictions

Loan borrower must be over 21 years of age who lives in Arkansas and has a business in Arkansas. 


Little Rock SCORE

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Networking

Offers Free Service

Description

SCORE (Service Corp of Retired Executives) is a leading, nation-wide organization that has assisted millions of entrepreneurs over its 50+ years of operation. SCORE is a resource partner of the SBA that offers access to a network of experienced business leaders who donate time to mentor entrepreneurs and small business owners. They also host free or inexpensive workshops online and at 300 local chapters around the United States. Mentoring can be conducted either in person or remotely and is always free and confidential, no matter how often you take advantage of this service.