Organizers of the Start Here Initiative Speak
in New Orleans
- Organizers of the Little Rock-based Start Here Initiative were invited to speak at the 2017 New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.
- The group presented on the main keynote stage at the regional entrepreneurial conference to an audience of entrepreneurs, startup enthusiasts and investors.
- New Orleans Entrepreneur Week is the mid-South’s leading entrepreneurial conference, drawing nearly 10,000 attendees annually.
Little Rock, Ark., March 22, 2017 – On Tuesday, organizers of the Little Rock-based Start Here Initiative were featured presenters at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. The week-long innovation and entrepreneur-focused festival, dubbed “the Mardi Gras of Entrepreneurship” by USA Today, brings together entrepreneurs, startup enthusiasts and investors from around the country and across the world.
Start Here founder, Steve Rice, along with strategic advisors Dr. Tionna Jenkins, Katie Milligan, and Nate Thomas, presented the Arkansas-based Start Here Initiative as a model for other communities to increase the engagement of women and minorities in the entrepreneurial process and to raise awareness for the entrepreneurial information, resources and training available to new business owners.
“Exposure like this opportunity to present in New Orleans, in many ways, puts Little Rock–and Central Arkansas–on the map as a city and a community working toward creating a more inclusive, diverse and equitable startup environment. And that is good for attracting talent, investment and new businesses to City,” said Dr. Tionna Jenkins, an entrepreneur and strategic advisor for the Initiative.
Launched last year, the Start Here Initiative is a collaboration with the University of Arkansas Clinton School for Public Service and the Arkansas Association of Black Professionals. The Initiative’s inaugural entrepreneurial program was held at the Ron Robinson Theater in downtown Little Rock in August of 2016.
“This Initiative is a community-driven program,” said Steve Rice, founder of Start Here. “It shows that you don’t have to have lots of money and a big infrastructure to make a difference. You can start where you are with what you have and take the first step. You can literally…’start here’”
Partnering with a wide variety of local entrepreneur support and civic organizations, The Start Here Initiative plans to continue to bring community stakeholders and entrepreneurs together with the hope of creating a more equitable and vibrant environment for innovation and entrepreneurism in Central Arkansas.
About the Start Here Initiative
The Start Here Initiative is a community-based program with a mission to engage women and minorities in Little Rock and increase access to entrepreneurial information, resources and training. The vision of the Initiative is to close the gap in access to venture capital for underrepresented segments of our community regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status.
About New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW)
New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), presented by IBERIABANK, is the annual business festival celebrating entrepreneurship, innovation, and new thinking in New Orleans. Produced by The Idea Village in partnership with Solomon Group, NOEW engages a dynamic locally relevant, globally significant network of entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, non-profits, students, and professionals to support growing companies and elevate entrepreneurial successes through six days of discussion, debate, education, competition, and celebration in a city like no other.