The Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) announced Thursday (May 13) that it has established the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Division and named Katherine Andrews the director.
According to a news release, Andrews, who has served as a project manager within AEDC’s business development division since 2016, will be responsible for guiding AEDC’s efforts to assist, champion and promote small businesses and entrepreneurs, as well as identifying and implementing best practices to increase entrepreneurial activity in Arkansas.
“Arkansans are known worldwide for their entrepreneurial spirit,” Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston said. “Small businesses and entrepreneurship are the heartbeat of our business community, and we understand the value they bring to our economy. Through this division, we will be able to provide more partnership to existing small business resource providers and support our business community more efficiently. I’m confident that Katherine will provide outstanding leadership toward these efforts.”
The AEDC established the division to streamline agency services and meet the needs of small businesses and entrepreneurs more efficiently. This division will serve as a “one-stop-shop” by offering small business resources that currently exist through the agency’s existing business development, science and technology, and minority and women-owned business divisions.
In her current role, Andrews specializes in managing projects within many of Arkansas’ key industries including the food and beverage, corporate and shared services, and technology industries. She will assume her new role on June 1.
“The economic impact of our state’s small businesses is significant and crosses every sector in every region,” Andrews said. “I’m honored to have been given this opportunity to continue to serve the state of Arkansas, and I look forward to working with our small businesses and entrepreneurs to foster their growth and success.”
Prior to working for the AEDC, Andrews worked as a commercial real estate sales associate for the Hathaway Group in Little Rock. A Little Rock native, Andrews attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville where she received a bachelor of science in business administration degree in finance.