How does the ERDC work?


Business and Economic Development Technical Assistance (T.A.)

This program is intended to spark wealth and job creation for entrepreneurs and businesses by increasing the availability of ongoing, structured, one-on-one client engagement; providing on-site business development services; and assisting in starting, strengthening, or expanding business operations. The program serves business owners/entrepreneurs with low and moderate incomes, and those in traditionally underserved communities (including people of color, those with limited English proficiency, and those located in specific geographic areas such as PDC's Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative and Main Street areas.)

Feasibility Studies

Feasibility studies are used to determine whether an intervention is appropriate for further testing; in other words, they enable researchers to assess whether or not the ideas and findings can be shaped to be relevant and sustainable. Such research may identify not only what—if anything—in the research methods or protocols needs modification but also how changes might occur.

Micro Enterprise and Small Business Development Technical Assistance

This program assists low to moderate income individuals to successfully start or expand a business and provide a future of financial security for themselves and their families. The services offered include: Classroom workshops on preparing for self-employment; writing a business plan; and how to start or expand a business. One-on-one business consulting. Start-up or business expansion loans from $500 to $50,000 at competitive interest rates. Post-loan, post-program business consulting services to ensure continued financial success.

T.A. For Community Facilities • Entreprenurship Training (FasTTrac, Operation Jumpstart)

Entrepreneurial training program offered by the Economic Research and Development Center at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. This 11-week program focuses on improving business operations by developing an effective management team, formulating budget and planning growth. Over 20,000 entrepreneurs have graduated from FastTrac programs in more than 35 states and Canada. Results from the FastTrac II training indicate that 10-25% of graduates more than double their sales within one year after graduation.

Business Incubation (Virtual Tenants)

If you need dedicated onsite space, every-day access to services, networking with fellow entrepreneurs across the hall, or a steady calendar of workshops and training events a flight of stairs (or elevator ride) away, then please consider going "beyond Virtual" and learning about our Onsite Incubator Tenant Program. Learn more > Or maybe Virtual is just your ticket, but you have friends... Do you know any fellow entrepreneurs who may benefit from becoming an onsite Incubator Tenant based in the ERDC facility? Our Tenant Referral Program offers cash incentives for successful tenant referrals.

Access to Micro Financing (Pine Bluff Only)

New, existing, and emerging entrepreneurs enrolled in the UAPB Business Support Incubator Program who are looking to open or expand a business in one of the two designated revitalization zones (University Park and Downtown Central Business District) within the City may seek funding under the UAPB/City of Pine Bluff Micro Revolving Loan Program. This unique program is made possible through a vibrant community economic development partnership between ERDC and the City of Pine Bluff.