Southwest Arkansas 2024 Rural Development Conference Theme: “Reimagining Rural Arkansas: Pathways to Growth and Success”

Providing small and emerging business owners in rural communities and their support networks with the innovative skills, tools and contacts needed to establish and grow their businesses, and to better participate in job creation activities, is the objectives of an upcoming regional business conference to be held in Camden, Arkansas. Funded by the Arkansas Human Development Corporation (AHDC) and USDA RD, with support from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the 2024 Southwest Arkansas Rural Business Development Conference, themed “Reimagining Rural Arkansas: Pathways to Growth and Success” will bringing together approximately twenty (20) private, quasi-state, federal, and nonprofit organizations to provide participants with the resources needed to grow their existing businesses and support their local communities.

Confirmed and/or invited partners include Arkansas APEX Accelerator, Camden Regional Chamber of Commerce, Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development, Southern Arkansas University – Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (SAU-ASBTDC), SBA and more. The conference will take place on Thursday, June 27, 2024 from 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM via Zoom and in person. In-person attendance is limited to seventy-five (75) at the conference location, located on the campus of Camden’s First United Methodist Church, 121 Harrison Street, Camden, AR 71701. Topics include, but are not limited to, building strategic partnerships, evaluating and securing capital, obtaining technical assistance for small businesses, and selling goods and services to government and industry.

Join us at 8:30 am for a “Breakfast with the Lenders Roundtable,” where conference participants will network with local, regional and statewide lenders. Current lenders confirmed and/or invited to participate include Arkansas Capital Corporation Group, Communities Unlimited, FORGE Community Loan Fund, Generations Bank, US Small Business Administration (SBA) and USDA Rural Development-Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program. The Lenders Roundtable is facilitated by Mr. Christian Pennington, Lender Relations Specialist, SBA. Ms. Esperanza Massana-Crane, Director of Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, will be the luncheon speaker.

Don’t miss the opportunity to help your community create the jobs it needs by learning valuable tools to help your small business grow and innovate.

A time investment because the costs for participation are encouraged through registration.

You can register by calling Arkansas Human Development Corporation at (800) 482-7641, extension 0, or online at