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The entrepreneurial spirit created by our bold trendsetters has made Arkansas a hub of international commerce and is launching a new generation of dealmakers. Through a statewide network of partners and targeted tax incentive programs, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission is committed to empowering start-ups and visionaries with open collaboration, unparalleled resources, beneficial policies, and a willingness to get things done.

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AEDC Establishes Small Business and Entrepreneurship Division, Names Katherine Andrews Director

May 13, 2021, 12:18 PM by
The AEDC announced that it has established the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Division and has named Katherine Andrews the Director of the department.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (May 13, 2021) – The Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) today announced that it has established the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Division and has named Katherine Andrews the Director of Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development.

Andrews, who has served as project manager within AEDC’s Business Development Division since 2016, will be the first to lead the newly established division. As director, she 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 as project manager in AEDC’s Business Development Division, 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 leading small business and entrepreneurship development on June 1, 2021.

“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 her time at AEDC, Andrews worked as Commercial Real Estate Sales Associate for the Hathaway Group in Little Rock. She invests a large portion of her time in her community and state by serving as a volunteer for Our House, Women and Children First, and for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Andrews is a graduate of Leadership Arkansas Class XIII and Leadership Little Rock Class XXXV and received the Arkansas Business 20 in their 20s award in 2019. She formerly served on the Mount St. Mary Academy Alumnae Board and currently serves as President of the Rotaract Club of Little Rock.

A native of Little Rock, Andrews attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville where she received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in finance. She is an avid outdoorswoman and enjoys hunting, camping, hiking, and running with her husband, family, and friends.

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ABOUT THE ARKANSAS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC), a division of the Arkansas Department of Commerce, seeks to create economic opportunity by attracting higher-paying jobs, expanding and diversifying local economies in the state, increasing incomes and investment, and generating growth throughout The Natural State. Arkansas is a pro-business environment operating leaner, faster and more focused through a streamlined state government designed to act on corporate interests quickly and decisively. For more information, visit www.ArkansasEDC.com. The Arkansas Department of Commerce is the umbrella department for workforce and economic development drivers. Its divisions and regulatory boards include Division of Aeronautics, Waterways Commission, Wine Producers Council, Division of Workforce Services, Office of Skills Development, State Bank Department, Insurance Department, Securities Department, Economic Development Commission and Development Finance Authority. It was established July 2019 as part of Governor Asa Hutchinson’s wide-sweeping efficiency and transformation efforts to reduce 42 cabinet agencies to 15 while maintaining services for all Arkansans.

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Katherine Andrews

Director, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Development

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