Creating an Inclusive Business Environment in the Conway Area
Supporting Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in the Conway Business Community
The Conway Chamber’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) program is a minority-owned business development program that facilitates the sustainable development of equitable solutions and strategies to create an inclusive business environment that promotes access to resources and opportunities.
What is a Minority-Owned Business?
A minority-owned business is at least 51% owned by one or more minority persons. “Minority” means a lawful permanent resident who is African American, Hispanic American, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander American.
Become a member to take advantage of the many benefits the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce offers!
Together we are making Conway, Arkansas, a better place to live and own a business.
Resources for Minority Business Owners
Our DEI program was created for minority-owned businesses in the Conway area looking for business resources and companies seeking to create new vendor relationships with minority-owned businesses.
Minority entrepreneurs in the Conway area have multiple organizations and resources available to help them with their businesses. Below are a few:
The Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Certification program is a review process designed to ensure that a minority or women-owned business is actually owned, controlled, and operated by the applicants and meets the program’s eligibility criteria.
In addition to increasing opportunities with the State of Arkansas, benefits for certified minority-owned businesses include notification of training events, workshops, network opportunities, and educational opportunities.
Certified Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises will receive an official certificate and designation as a “Certified Minority and Women-Owned Business” in the Directory.
Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center
The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center is a university-based economic development program that assists new and seasoned entrepreneurs. We help with every aspect of business creation, management, and operation.
The Conductor empowers entrepreneurs, innovators, makers, and small business owners to launch, collaborate, and grow. They are a public-private partnership between the University of Central Arkansas and Startup Junkie.
Minority Vendor Partnership Initiative
The award-winning Minority Vendor Partnership Initiative (MVPI) at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) provides educational and networking opportunities to minority, disabled veteran, and women-owned businesses.
Corporate Purchasing Department Information
The Procurement Office assists the University of Central Arkansas in the economical procurement of materials, equipment, service, and supplies and offers years of experience in providing guidance and insight through the acquisition process.
UCA Current Bids
Learn how to submit a bid through the University of Central Arkansas and access other UCA procurement resources.
Hendrix College Purchasing
The Hendrix College Purchasing Department assists faculty, staff, and students with identifying, selecting, and acquiring goods and services and assists community members in numerous ways.
Nabholz Subcontractor & Supplier Prequalification
Nabholz views subcontractors and suppliers as partners and strongly encourages the participation of all Minority-, Women-, and Disabled Veteran-owned businesses in bidding their projects.
Acxiom Supplier Diversity Program
Acxiom is committed to mentoring, promoting, and engaging with diverse businesses. Learn more about their Supplier Diversity Program below.
Minority Business Economic Development Act
The Minority Development Economic Development Act was passed to support equal opportunity, economic development in every sector and all possible participation of firms owned and controlled by minority persons and women in state-funded and state-directed public construction programs and in the purchase of goods and services for the state.
All state agencies will attempt to ensure that the following percentages of the total amount expended in state-funded and state-directed public construction programs and in the purchase of goods and services for the state each fiscal year are paid to minority business enterprises and women-owned business enterprises:
- For minority business enterprises, ten percent (10%)
- Two percent (2%) for service-disabled veteran-owned minority business enterprises.
- Eight percent (8%) for all other minority business enterprises.
- For women-owned business enterprises, five percent (5%)
Diversity in Business Awards
The annual Diversity in Business Awards recognize the achievements of minority entrepreneurs and business leaders in the Conway area. Through this event, the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce aims to recognize and foster the growth and sustainability of minority-owned businesses.
In the summer of 2020, our country endured high-profile killings of Black men and women by police. As a result, protests ensued in Conway and around the world, reaffirming that Black lives matter and demanding justice and equality for all.
In response to these tragedies, the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce launched #ListenConway, using its Facebook and Instagram platforms to elevate the voices of Black members of the community.
These stories from friends, neighbors, and colleagues were no substitute for concrete action but were an attempt to spark productive dialogue within the community that would lead to positive change.
Unlock the Resources You Need to Grow as Minority Owned Business
If you’re a minority small business owner in the Conway area, become a member of the Chamber of Commerce to unlock all the benefits and resources we can provide!