How to Become an Entrepreneur in Arkansas

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What is an Entrepreneur?


For people who dream about someday starting their own business from scratch or climbing the corporate ladder, a career as an entrepreneur in Arkansas is a fantastic choice. However, most aspiring entrepreneurs in Arkansas have no idea which industry to pursue. According to much research, retail trade is one of the top 10 industries in Arkansas, generating $8.9 billion and ranking #35 among all states.

The good news is that many of the best entrepreneur schools in Arkansas offer students the opportunity to focus on retail trade, providing them with a locally useful degree. When students pursue an entrepreneurship degree program in Arkansas, they can take classes in retail marketing, product and service strategy, consumer analysis, package design, advertising, and professional selling.

An entrepreneur is a professional who starts or acquires a business with the goal of earning a profit. The most common career options for entrepreneurs are creating a completely new company, opening a franchise, or acquiring an existing business.

Most entrepreneurs are juggling many responsibilities. As part of their everyday work, these professionals perform important tasks such as overseeing a company’s operations, setting goals, establishing budgets, implementing policies and procedures, managing team members, building rapport with investors and clients, and keeping up with industry trends.


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Entrepreneurship Education in Arkansas


In order to succeed as an entrepreneur, the following skillsets are definitely needed: time management, communication, networking, finance, creative thinking, and sales. Future entrepreneurs should also know how to engage in effective problem solving, critical thinking, and decision making.

In Arkansas, over 63,000 people hold a management position. The top industries for entrepreneurs in this state are food and restaurant, manufacturing, aerospace, finance and insurance, construction, automotive repair, accounting, home healthcare, business consulting, wholesale trade, app development, and more.

Over the years, more and more people in Arkansas have been interested in starting a business. A few years ago, over 2,000 establishments started up, generating more than 5,900 jobs.

Associate Degree in Entrepreneurship (AS)

Students typically pursue a career as an entrepreneur if they are business-minded or confident that they want to be their own boss. An associate entrepreneurship degree program is designed to offer students the foundation knowledge they need to start or acquire their own business.

During this program, students will learn how to create an effective business plan and guide powerful entrepreneurial teams. Students will also gain the necessary skills to pitch their business idea to investors, enabling them to obtain venture capital.

For the degree requirements, a few sample courses include Introduction to Entrepreneurship, Supply Chain Management, Principles of Economics, Professional Selling/Advertising, Markets and Consumers, and Business Communication.

The top colleges with associate entrepreneurship degree programs in Arkansas include NorthWest Arkansas Community College, University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College, Shorter College, South Arkansas Community College, and East Arkansas Community College.

Bachelor's Degree in Entrepreneurship (BS)

A bachelor’s entrepreneurship degree program will also teach students how to start their own business but with a strong emphasis on innovation and creativity. A bachelor’s is usually the entry-level position in the entrepreneurial field because those wishing to start their own business feel more confident in doing so one they have some education under their belt.

The topics covered in these programs include creative thinking, business technology, new product development, finance, new venture creation, and marketing. Students will also learn the secret to creating and launching never-seen-before products and services.

The top bachelor’s entrepreneurship degree programs in Arkansas enable students to participate in study abroad opportunities, business internships, and individual business projects. Many schools also offer students opportunities to connect with future entrepreneurs through student organizations.

After completing these programs, students will gain the creative knowledge they need to become a powerful entrepreneur or an incredible manager in a company. The best colleges with bachelor’s entrepreneurship degrees in Arkansas are the University of Arkansas, Southern Arkansas University, University of Central Arkansas, Quachita College, and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Master's Degree in Entrepreneurship (MS or MC)

A master’s entrepreneurship degree/MBA program is the perfect choice for students who want to make a big difference in this world by starting a socially responsible business, launching a fast-growing independent company, or obtaining a management position in a large organization.

The best graduate business programs in Arkansas with entrepreneurship degrees or MBAs with a focus on entrepreneurship can offer students opportunities to take graduate level courses that explore key business concepts such as financial markets and valuation, leadership/ethics, international business, strategic marketing, managerial economics, and much more.

Many graduates of these types of programs start businesses that focus on not-for-profit fundraising, building communities, and social activism. In addition, some graduates choose to start their own high growth company or work as a manger in a big organization. The top colleges with master’s entrepreneurship degrees in Arkansas are the University of Arkansas and Southern Arkansas University.

PhD Degree in Entrepreneurship (PhD)

The main goal of a PhD/Doctorate degree program is to prepare students for a position as a researcher or teacher at a university. As a result, students who would like to pursue a career as an entrepreneur do not necessarily need a PhD or doctorate degree unless their ultimate goal is to start an educational institute.

Learn More about Entrepreneurship Degrees

Top College Programs in Arkansas for Entrepreneurship

  • University of Arkansas
  • John Brown University
  • Harding University
  • University of Central Arkansas
  • Arkansas State University

Become an Entrepreneurial Professional in Arkansas


When it comes to becoming an entrepreneurial professional in Arkansas, there are many fields that entrepreneurs can pursue in their new business venture.

  • Not-For-Profit And Other Fundraisers
    The not-for-profit field is ideal for entrepreneurs who would like to better the world. In this field, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to develop innovative solutions for important environmental, economic, and social problems. Founders of non-profits who are entrepreneurs often need to be extremely resourceful with money to make the organization successful.
  • Market and Industry Research and Analysis
    Future entrepreneurs who want to help companies outsmart the business competition should definitely consider starting a business in the market and industry research and analysis field. The primary objective of a company in this field is to provide clients with online tools, innovative growth strategies, improved marketing to attract more customers, and much more.
  • Brand Management and Marketing
    When future entrepreneurs want to start a business from scratch, brand management and marketing is always a great field in which to pursue knowledge. As an entrepreneur of a company in the brand management and marketing field, this professional will strive to create brands and product lines that customers absolutely love.
  • Real Estate and Rental/Leasing
    Real estate and rental/leasing is known as a top industry in Arkansas, making it the perfect field for entrepreneurs in the state. Many entrepreneurs who own and operate a real estate company make a profit by investing in properties throughout Arkansas.
  • Transportation, Warehousing, and Logistics
    Transportation and warehousing is also ranked as a top industry in Arkansas. In this state, the industry employs more than 85,000 professionals. These professionals typically work at trucking centers and distribution centers. Since this industry is a big contributor to Arkansas’ economy, future entrepreneurs might consider starting a company in the transportation, warehousing, and logistics sector.
  • Professional and Business Services
    Professional and business services is the second biggest contributor to Arkansas’ economy, which is why many entrepreneurs start a business in this field. There are many different types of businesses that entrepreneurs can start in this field including an engineering firm, law firm, accounting/bookkeeping company, advertising agency, and architectural business.
  • Manufacturing
    As states before, the number one industry in Arkansas is manufacturing, accounting for over 12% of the state’s workforce. The manufacturing industry is a perfect choice for entrepreneurs because of the seemingly unlimited venture startup options, from textile product mills and pharmaceuticals to printing or publishing.

Careers for Entrepreneurship Graduates


In order to become an entrepreneur in Arkansas, there are several careers that can set aspiring entrepreneurs up for success. Here are a wide variety of careers for those who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs and some for those who aren’t ready to open their own business just yet.

  • Business Owner:
    An obvious entrepreneurship career, business owners are professionals who own and manage their own company. They may create a new product or service and sell it either to the public or to other businesses who need new services to manage the ever-changing needs within the business community.
  • Public Relations Manager:
    Public relations managers are primarily responsible for significantly improving the public image of their client. Future entrepreneurs who work as public relations managers will acquire the necessary skills to protect the public image of their own startup one day.
  • Appraiser:
    Appraisers are most known for assessing the market value of real estate. The job responsibilities of these professionals often include completing a lot of paper and examining important real estate data. As an appraiser, an aspiring entrepreneur will have many opportunities to network with real estate agents and investors.
  • Web Developer:
    Often referred to as web programmers, web developers are expected to make a website function properly by working with well-known programming languages such as CSS. By working as a web developer, a future entrepreneur will gain incredible tech skills and the knowledge needed to improve their own website for their future business ventures.
  • Social Media Manager:
    The main goal of social media managers is to manage a company’s social media accounts including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. They may be required to develop campaigns to significantly grow the brand and communicate with followers on social media.
  • Marketing Manager:
    The role of marketing managers is to create marketing strategies for a company. Since entrepreneurs usually have to create strong marketing strategies to attract customers, a career as a marketing manager is a fantastic way to obtain effective marketing skills.
  • Sales Manager:
    At many companies, sales managers have several responsibilities including managing sales personnel, creating sales goals, promoting products and services, and cultivating long-term customer relationships. A career as a sales manager translates to incredible selling experience, which is crucial to being a successful entrepreneur.
  • Systems Analyst:
    Sometimes nicknamed “digital investigators”, systems analysts are professionals who analyze current IT systems. Most entrepreneurs will need computer systems in their company, so a career as a systems analyst can be extremely helpful.
  • Management Analyst:
    The primary objective of management analysts is to promote optimal efficiency within a company, which ultimately generates more profits. During a typical day, these professionals must implement systems, create manuals, and develop systematic tasks. A position as a management analyst will provide future entrepreneurs with crucial management experience.
  • Advertising:
    Professionals who have a career in advertising are expected to promote a company’s products, services, or initiatives.
  • Investment and Acquisition:
    The duties of professionals who hold a position in the investment and acquisition field might include reviewing potential investments, preparing important documents, and helps with contracts negotiations.
  • Brand Manager:
    In general, brand managers are supposed to perform the following tasks: protect a brand, create a brand strategy, oversee a budget for advertising, and monitor market trends. Depending on the company, brand managers may have the opportunity to participate in management training programs. Management training programs can definitely provide professionals with key entrepreneurial skills.
  • Business Consultant:
    These professionals strive to improve companies’ bottom line by offering expert advice. A job as a business consultant will definitely provide aspiring entrepreneurs with the skills they need to launch a venture startup.
  • Marketing/Research Analyst:
    Marketing/research analysts are responsible for examining consumers’ preferences in order to help companies create an effective marketing strategy.
  • Product Development Manager:
    The mission of a product development manager is to oversee the product development process. Since product development is at the heart of every new business, future entrepreneurs will learn all about creating innovative products as a product development manager.
  • Financial Advisor:
    These professionals are praised for helping clients build long-term wealth. When future entrepreneurs work as a financial advisor, they will become experts in financial management.
  • Construction Manager:
    Construction managers supervise an extensive array of construction projects. The best construction managers ensure that every project is completed on time and meets all regulations.

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