Arkansas Financial Improvement Fee creates small enterprise and entrepreneurship division

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The Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) announced Thursday (May 13) that it had established the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Division and named Katherine Andrews as director.

Andrews, who has been a project manager in AEDC’s business development department since 2016, will be responsible for leading AEDC’s efforts to support, nurture and promote small businesses and entrepreneurs, as well as identify and implement best practices, according to a press release of doing business in Arkansas.

“Arkansans are known around the world for their entrepreneurship,” said Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston. “Small business and entrepreneurship are the heartbeat of our business world, and we understand the value they bring to our economy. This division enables us to partner with existing small business resource providers and support our business world more efficiently. I am confident that Katherine will provide an outstanding leadership role in this effort. “

The AEDC set up the department to streamline agency services and serve the needs of small businesses and entrepreneurs more efficiently. This department will serve as a “one-stop-shop” by providing small business resources currently available in the agency’s existing development, science and technology divisions, as well as minority and women’s divisions.

In her current position, Andrews specializes in managing projects in many of Arkansas’ key industries, including the food and beverage, corporate and shared services, and technology industries. She will take on her new role on June 1st.

“The economic impact of our state’s small businesses is significant, affecting every sector in every region,” said Andrews. “I am honored to have this opportunity to continue serving the state of Arkansas, and I look forward to working with our small businesses and entrepreneurs to help them grow and thrive.”

Prior to AEDC, Andrews was a commercial real estate sales representative with the Hathaway Group in Little Rock. Andrews is from Little Rock and attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration in finance.