64.6 Downtown will partner with the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith Center for Economic Development and The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC) to host the fifth annual Invest Fort Smith Nov. 16 during Global Entrepreneurship Week.
Global Entrepreneurship week is Nov. 14-20.
This year’s summit will be held at the UAFS’ Center for Economic Development at the Bakery District, 70 S. Seventh St., and is designed to hear from and network with like-minded business owners, developers, and entrepreneurs, said Talicia Richardson, executive director of 64.6 Downtown.
Along with changing the location this year, the conference is adding a perk for the first 50 to register – free swag bags featuring products from local businesses worth $50 each.
“We (64.6 Downtown) received a grant this year that we are using to buy the products. We wanted to reinvest in our local businesses and promote their products at the same time. We didn’t want to ask them to donate the products,” Richardson said.
From 1 to 1:30 p.m. during the conference, local small business owners will have an advertisement time to promote their products.
“We want to give everyone there the opportunity to not only learn about what products and services are available, but also to get to know the entrepreneurs and business owners behind them,” Richardson said.
Following are topics for the session.
• Contracting with Governments and Schools: Learn from the Procurement Departments
of government agencies and educational institutions regarding their product/service
needs while gaining understanding of the process to become a vendor.
• Economic Benefits of Inclusion: Panelists will discuss why it’s important to business
sustainability for entrepreneurs and businesses to engage in the promotion of inclusivity
within business practices related to hiring/promotion, customer relations, and supplier
• Preparing for Business Growth: Panelists will discuss how the community can prepare
for opportunities developed around the military installations and other businesses in the
This year’s event will not include area schools or Fort Smith Public School’s Peak Innovation Center as it has done the past two years. Richardson said they did not want to take focus away from instructors at Peak who would focus on what students could do to prepare for the event.
“We look forward to working with them again in 2023,” Richardson said.
Link here to register for the free event.