Winrock - U.S. Programs

Arkansas Women's Business Center

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Operation Jump Start (OJS) is a 12-session comprehensive business development training program. The program is designed for persons who desire to start or expand a small business. Often upon successful completion of the course requirements, participants may compete in a business plan competition for seed capital. This program is held in various locations across the state. Check with the AWBC for potential dates and locations.

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Arkansas Women's Business Center

Welcome to the Arkansas Women’s Business Center (AWBC). The AWBC is committed to providing technical assistance, training, and access to capital services tailored to meet the needs of women business owners. The Center is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. It is in a network of over 100 Centers located through the nation.


Winrock’s staff and team of professional consultants provide the following technical and financial assistance to women entrepreneurs:

  • Assess interested companies to ensure disadvantaged entrepreneurs receive support.
  • Assess current client capabilities.
  • Provide opportunities to participate in training activities.
  • Provide business plan development support.
  • Develop market feasibility studies.
  • Provide mentoring assistance.
  • Enhance links to capital investments.
  • Locate federal, state, and local funding assistance.
  • Download templates and access other online resources.

Computers are available for clients to prepare business documents, access online information, and participate in online training activities. In addition, space at the Center is set aside to serve as a business accelerator.

The AWBC is located on the South Arkansas Community College campus at 404 South West Avenue, El Dorado, Arkansas.

For more information about the Arkansas Women’s Business Center contact Liz Young at (870) 864-8430 or

Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact Liz Young, 404 South West Avenue, El Dorado, AR 71730, (870) 864-8430.

Arkansas Women's Business Center Staff

Liz Young

Liz Young is the Director of the Arkansas Women’s Business Center in El Dorado, Ark. She is responsible for helping women-owned small businesses start, grow, and compete in markets by providing quality training, counseling, and access to capital and other resources. Liz managed the horticulture programs and was an Americorps supervisor with the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute for four years before moving to North Carolina to help start up a small-scale organic vegetable farm that she managed three years. Her experience includes a wide range of skills including small business startup, volunteer management, training and supervision, instructing, sustainable agriculture, and farming. Liz serves on the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Board of Directors. She received her B.S. in horticulture from the University of Arkansas.

Shay Kaldem

Shay Kaldem is the Marketing Coordinator for the Arkansas Women’s Business Center. She is responsible for the marketing and communications efforts for the center and the daily management of Edie’s Village, a local retail incubator project. She also provides website maintenance and researches new opportunities for the center. Shay graduated from Southern Arkansas University with a Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Marketing.

Arkansas Women's Business Center