Entrepreneurship Program

As part of Canopy’s Long Welcome, the Entrepreneurship Program is designed to empower refugees and immigrants in Northwest Arkansas by offering tailor-made, high-quality, and low-cost training and business services to those who aspire to start their own businesses.

In 2020, Canopy NWA partnered with Neighborhood Development Center in St. Paul, Minnesota to utilize their Plan It! curriculum. This 12 week course equips entrepreneurs with the tools to launch a successful business using the following 4 pillars:

Entrepreneur Training: This is a 12 week class that will equip you to create a solid foundation and articulate a business plan.

Loan Assistance: With a solid business plan in hand, we will help you apply for loans through CDFI and/or direct you to other sources of funding in the community

Business Services: After completing the 12-week training, Canopy provides comprehensive technical assistance to entrepreneurs for 2 years, offering ongoing support for new business owners. The team works closely with each entrepreneur, providing customized guidance based on their specific business needs.

Real Estate: Canopy will provide non-monetary assistance & guidance to entrepreneurs with their leasing, rent negotiation, location, etc.

Technical Assistance Volunteers Needed

We are looking for skilled volunteers to assist graduates of Canopy’s Entrepreneurship Program who have started their businesses.

The Build from Within Alliance is a national network of community development organizations supporting local entrepreneurship in neighborhoods across the country. We work in communities that show visible and invisible signs of systemic disinvestment, connecting entrepreneurs to opportunities and support.

Cottage Industry Initiative Program

Canopy’s Cottage Industry Initiative Program offers a unique opportunity for refugee women to achieve economic independence while showcasing their talents and cultural richness. Through this initiative, women have the ability to work from home, crafting artisanal food, art, and cultural items. They receive comprehensive training, resources, and ongoing support, enabling them to generate income for their families by selling products at local markets and businesses. This program not only enriches communities with diverse products but also fosters a sense of community among the women involved. Canopy collaborates with community partners to provide additional resources and training, further enhancing the program’s impact.

For more information about these programs and volunteer opportunities, please contact:

Bethany Carter

Entrepreneurship Program Managerbethany.carter@canopynwa.org