A high-performing entrepreneurial ecosystem is essential for a community’s economic vitality. Entrepreneurs and startups thrive off of having access to financial resources and capital, collaborative environments and support services, potential and new markets, high-performing human capital, robust communications infrastructure, proximity to research institutions and an inclusive community culture. Additionally, many entrepreneurs are developing organizations that are focused on creating a healthy triple bottom line, a framework that evaluates social, environmental and financial measures.
- Bentonville is the home of Walmart, which offers free consultation, advisory services, and custom training through its 8th & Walton program.
- Bentonville is experiencing 14% population growth overall, including 12% growth of Millennials and Generation Z
- Bentonville is a sustainability-focused community that includes several “makerspaces”, “hackerspaces”, and collaboration spaces
- Colleges and universities local to Bentonville:
- Northwest Arkansas Community College
- Shewmaker Center for Global Business Development
- University of Arkansas
- University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
- Resources for entrepreneurs in the Bentonville area:
- Bentonville Young Entrepreneur Academy (YEA!) — Open to students in grades 6–12. Collaborate with and guide students interested in starting a business or social movement.
- The ARK — A mentorship-based accelerator for technology startups focusing in retail, transportation, logistics, and food processing. The ARK is a Winrock International U.S. Programs initiative in partnership with the University of Arkansas and Northwest Arkansas Community College.
- The Natural State Angel Association — The first formal angel network in Northwest Arkansas, with over 80 members.
- Bentonville offers multiple free Wi-Fi and connectivity points