It may seem like Arkansas has caught lightning in a bottle several times — with companies like Walmart, Tyson, and J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. getting their start here and exploding into mega worldwide corporations — but Arkansas’ economic success is no accident. The state, including its capital city and surrounding suburbs, is fantastically suited to support business owners and entrepreneurs.

2nd best cost of living in the U.S.
Source: 2022-2023 U.S. Migration Report

10th best state for relocation
Source: 2023 Max My Money–“States People Are Leaving (And Where They’re Going)”

4.8% - The newly lowered corporate tax rate (down from 6.5%)
Source: CNBC, 2023

3rd least expensive state to start a small business
Source: 2022-2023 U.S. Migration Report

No. 1 highest opportunity share for entrepreneurs (more entrepreneurs start a business in Arkansas out of choice rather than necessity)
Source: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s “State Report on Early-Stage Entrepreneurship in the United States” (2023)

77% percentage of startups in Arkansas that survived their first year
Source: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (2020)

3rd best for overall affordability
Source: 2022-2023 U.S. Migration Report

15th lowest overall cost of doing business in 2023
Source: CNBC, 2023

Top Destination for Talent Relocating to Midsize Markets”
Emsi’s Talent Attraction Scorecard on Arkansas

Top 10 - Forbes ranked Little Rock the 10th best place to live as a young professional among 100 of the most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S.

“Arkansas is a beautiful and affordable place to live and work, and companies large and small, from the Fortune No. 1 to startups, continue to find success here.”
-Clark Cogbill, director of marketing at Arkansas Economic Development Commission

Superior Support for Businesses

Arkansas’ strong talent pool, growing number of incubators, accelerator programs, available funding and incentives have created a welcoming environment for entrepreneurs.

► The Venture Center (VC) in Little Rock is home to award-winning accelerator programs like FIS Fintech Accelerator. The organization’s goal is to transform startups into thriving, high-growth businesses via mentorships, immersive programs and connections to investors.

► VCWoman Achieve is a mentorship program that provides female business owners with resources and relationships to take their companies to the next level.

► The Arkansas Business & Technology Accelerator Grant Program was created to encourage innovation and growth among the state’s technology businesses. The program provides grants up to $250,000 and mentors for startup companies.

► Based in North Little Rock, Innovate Arkansas helps promising Arkansas tech ventures and assists entrepreneurs in turning startups into viable commercial enterprises.

► A new Veteran-owned Small Business Accelerator, a collaborative effort between The Venture Center, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the SBA Arkansas District Office, works to boost the growth of businesses founded by military veterans.

► The Innovation Hub in North Little Rock is a nonprofit with state-of-the-art facilities providing tools and training to entrepreneurs, students and other makers.

► The Conway-based 10X Growth accelerator program is a 14-week intensive designed for tech companies with the ability to scale. Basecamp for the program is the Arnold Innovation Center, a place for startups and small businesses to launch, collaborate and grow. The space is managed by The Conductor, a regional organization fostering economic development by empowering entrepreneurs.

Success Story: Apptegy

Megan Davis

This Arkansas startup success story began in Jeston Geroge’s spare bedroom in 2013, and it’s grown to become a top marketing tool for schools and parent communication. From working with only a handful of schools to now serving more than 3,000, Apptegy has been named one of “America’s Best Startup Employers” by Forbes in 2020 and 2021. Apptegy also earned a spot on Inc. 5,000’s list of “Fastest Growing Private Companies” in 2021. This thriving software company is proof of the Arkansas entrepreneurial dream; its reliable mobile app is now used by thousands of school districts in all 50 states.

Bringing in Talent

Megan Davis, talent recruiter for Apptegy, relocated to Little Rock from Denver and now works to bring more professionals to the Metro.