334 results.
September 14, 2016 Entire Region Press Release

NEWS: Delta Regional Authority Announces Arkansas Winners of 2017 Delta Challenge

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR – Four Arkansas-based entrepreneurs, and one alternate, were selected last night as winners of the third annual Delta Entrepreneurship Network fellowship, Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill announced. 

The winners will receive intensive technical assistance trainings, including development support for their business plans and detailed feedback on their product pitches, as well as the opportunity to pitch at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week on March 19th, 2017.

The list of winning fellows from the North Little Rock pitch competition are:

  • RaftUp, Corey Boelkens
    RaftUp is a social boating community accessible via the web, enabling people to develop connections on and off the water between friends, family, businesses, and public agencies.
  • Cocoa Belle Chocolates, Carmen Portillo
    Cocoa Belle Chocolates is launching a new line of chocolate bars and barks inspired by classic southern desserts; aimed to be sold at major retailers.
  • Polypatch, Nathan Bailey
    Polypatch is an easier, more cost-efficient patch to apply to polypipe irrigation systems, providing an innovative solution to a crucial tool in Delta agriculture.
  • Clinicpass, Tracy Simpson
    Clinicpass is a web based solution for pharmaceutical and/or device representative event/appointment scheduling and credentialing, allowing medical clinics & representatives to do what is really important . . . to help improve and extend peoples' lives.
  • ALTERNATE - My Color of Beauty, Eyona Mitchell
    My Color of Beauty is marketplace for diverse women to find information on how to use hair products, apply makeup and implement skin care routines with proven products.

April 06, 2016 Entire Region Chairman's Briefing

Investing in Women Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs: An Opportunity We Just Can’t Miss

“There is an enormous untapped investment opportunity for venture capitalists smart enough to look at the numbers and fund women entrepreneurs.”- Dr. Candida Brush, Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship Babson College.

I’m not a venture capitalist, and DRA isn’t an investment firm, but we at DRA are not ones to miss a good opportunity, which is why DRA works to invest in the women and girls of the Delta region. We are actively backing women in our region by supporting their small business growth and providing them with resources to be successful entrepreneurs to improve the economic climate for them and their families.

According to the Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative’s recent report Unequal Lives: The State of Black Women and Families in the Rural South, “individuals and families experiencing the deepest levels of poverty are found in the most persistently poor counties… including the Mississippi Delta.” In DRA states, women live in poverty at rates much higher than men. In Mississippi and Louisiana, 24% of women live in poverty compared to 17% of men.  While those numbers are startling, they are even starker for women of color. In the South, 25.5% of African American women, 23.4% of Hispanic women, and 20.9% of Native American women live in poverty, while 12.1% of white women experience similar conditions. 


September 30, 2015 Entire Region Press Release

NEWS: Federal partners announce dates and locations for economic development and resilience workshop

Federal Partners Announce Dates and Locations for Economic Development and Resilience Workshops for Local Elected Officials

CLARKSDALE, Miss. – A series of 32 technical assistance trainings to help mayors, county executives, other elected officials, and economic developers strengthen local economic development and build resilient communities will kick off in October, DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill announced today.

"We know that natural and economic crises will strike whether we are prepared or not,” Chairman Masingill said. “These trainings will help educate our local leadership on how to better plan for proactive economic development and post-disaster business recovery, and we look forward to working with these leaders to build economically competitive and resilient communities.”

The training series Leading Economically Competitive and Resilient Communities—announced last month at the Katrina 10 commemoration events—will help empower community leaders to strengthen their local economies and prepare for natural and economic disasters through proactive disaster risk management, business and industry recovery, and collaboration among emergency management entities.

The Delta Regional Authority is partnering with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration to present the workshops and will be utilizing the International Economic Development Council for curriculum and content development.


May 19, 2015 Entire Region Press Release

NEWS: Global Experts Meet in Memphis to Discuss Rural Competitiveness for the 21st Century

MEMPHIS, TN, May 19, 2015 - Today, leaders from 34 countries gathered in Memphis for the 10th Annual Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Rural Development Conference [This is an external link or third-party site outside of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website.]  to discuss international strategies to address rural development in the 21st century, including creating jobs, building infrastructure, expanding access to health care, and making diversified rural investments. The theme of this year's conference 'National Prosperity through Modern Rural Policy: Competitiveness and Well-Being in Rural Regions' engages the world's leading policy officials, international experts, and representatives from the private sector to discuss how modern policies can help rural regions reach their full economic potential, support national growth and be globally competitive.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack leads the American delegation on behalf of the Obama Administration. OECD Deputy Secretary-General Mari Kiviniemi leads the delegation from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The Conference is made possible with the support of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Mexico's Secretariat for Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development. The Delta Regional Authority is providing additional support and special events for conference participants.