The Conductor has been awarded funding that will enable it to increase its offerings in central Arkansas.
The public-private company has received the Small Business Administration’s Regional Innovation Cluster contract. The Conductor is one of seven clusters throughout the country to receive this funding.
“The Small Business Administration’s Innovation Cluster Award will be a difference-maker for central Arkansas,” said Kim Lane, CEO of the Conductor. “Not only will this funding enable the Conductor to escalate our transformational work in Conway, it will allow us to proliferate our reach to rural areas of the state. Through this expansion, the Conductor’s free services and support will be made available to thousands of rural small business owners and entrepreneurs, creating collaborative ecosystems that support the start and growth of local businesses.”
As part of the funding, the Conductor will also be able to “expand its footprint to reach underserved areas of the state,” according to a press release. The Conductor serves as hub for Central Arkansas entrepreneurs in Conway and provides services in Cleburne, Conway, Faulkner, Johnson, Logan, Pope, Pulaski, Van Buren, White and Yell counties.
As it plans to increase the extent of its operations, the Conductor is also planning to grow its Conway-based team. The company will be adding a Rural Program Officer, Director of Operations, Marketing/Outreach Manager, an educator and part-time University of Central Arkansas student workers.
“The proven impact of the Conductor Cluster is an outcome of the inclusive, collaborative work of our incredible partners and sponsors,” Lane said. “Together, we are creating an environment that inspires and enables entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses and create new jobs in the state. This funding will enable us to continue infusing entrepreneurship into local economies, and creating a supportive, scalable infrastructure that empowers entrepreneurs to thrive.”