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Youth Delegation Bringing New Businesses to DeValls Bluff/Hazen Area Print E-mail
Thursday, 30 August 2012 14:45




New Businesses to DeValls Bluff/Hazen Area

“Host of activities coming to encourage more youth”


altThrough the support of the Arnold Family Foundation seven youth from in and around DeValls Bluff were able to attend the Elevate Entrepreneurship Systems Summer Youth Entrepreneurship Camp, which was held in Little Rock this July22nd -26th

The camp engaged over 50 youth from communities across the State of Arkansas in 5 days of intensive entrepreneurship training. The event was held at Greater Second Baptist Church in Little Rock and the student’s hotel accommodations were provided by Wingate Hotel.

The DeValls Bluff Community was represented by: Malcolm Geans, Curtis Anderson, Tre Bradley, Chris Metcalf, Karina Swanigan, Denisha Cline, and Trudy Larkin.

These young people developed business plans to launch the following businesses in the DeValls Bluff area:

·         Metcalf’s Woodworking Creations by Chris Metcalf- A company that will take the many natural resources from the area and sell artistic creations online.  Mr. Metcalf was able to learn about wordworking by attending a series of workshops with Chuck Davis, an artisian and a leader from the United States Small Business Administration.

·         Crazy Cakes by Malcolm Geans, Trudy Larkin, and Karina Swanigan- these youth plan to develop a bakery that creates and packages unique cupcakes for sell in the community, at grocery retail shops, and through online sales.

·         Arkanine Computer Repair Company, by Tre Bradley and Denisha Cline- a company that will take computers from schools, government offices, and repair them for use by low-income families throughout the Missippi Delta Region. The goal of the company is to insure that every child regardless of income has a computer in the Missippi Delta Region.

Crazy Cakes and Arkanine Computer Repair Company filed Articles of Incorporation with the State of Arkansas and are now youth-owned corporations!

Karina Swanigan was presented with the “BOSS Award” for being the most entrepreneurial camper.

Tre Bradley also presented with the “GRIND” for his energy, hard work, and his vision to host a youth entrepreneur trade summit for the State of Arkansas.

Matthew Hampton, camp director, commented:

“The support of the Arnold Family Foundation positioned the area around DeValls Bluff, Hazen and Biscoe to have one of the larger delegations of youth. This provided an opportunity to develop a host of new youth businesses. The youth who came from around DeValls Bluff were very aware of  the economic challenges facing the area. These young people are ready to step up to the plate and become part of the solution to economic development in their community”

Arnold Family Members Share Their Story

On Monday, Curtis Arnold of the Arnold Family Foundation came by the camp and told the youth about his success as an entrepreneur. Mr. altArnold motivated the youth by letting them know that they could create the same type of success. Many of the youth were able to connect with Mr. Arnold as he talked about growing up in DeValls Bluff and then ultimately creating his own company and achieving success through his entrepreneurial activities.

On Tuesday, Bill Arnold of the Arnold Family Foundation also presented a luncheon keynote address to the youth. He encouraged the youth to follow their dreams and to become successful in their future. Many of the youth recognized Mr. Arnold from his days as an educator in the community.

What’s Next

Elevate Entrepreneurship Systems plans to be at the Prairie County Community on September 8th @ 7:00 pm in DeValls Bluff for the next free movie night. Elevate plans to bring some of the youth entrepreneurs from Little Rock to the event.  Also the DeValls Bluff youth camp attendees from the camp will be introducing their business ideas to the community and community leaders.

Elevate hopes to work with the Arnold Family Foundation to host an Empowering Entrepreneurship Workshop in the community this fall/winter. The workshop will bring state leaders, community leaders, church leaders, and educational leaders to DeValls Bluff to begin implementing an entrepreneurship support system that will provide these youth with additional resources to help them start businesses.  This will include micro-loans, developing a youth entrepreneurship incubator, and bringing state and federal economic development leaders into DeValls Bluff to implement a business development strategy.

Elevate also hopes to bring the Business Opportunities for Student Success (B.O.S.S. Club) to the Hazen School District. The B.O.S.S. Club is an entrepreneurship club that will allow other youth from the area to learn how to develop their own businesses.  The B.O.S.S. Club was developed through a partnership between Elevate Entrepreneurship Systems under the leadership and direction of Dr. Glenn Fenter, President of Mid-South Community College. The club is designed to help low-income rural communities engage and excite young people who want opportunities to start businesses.

altElevate is also hoping to provide scholarships for the youth from DeValls Bluff to attend the National Association of Community Colleges for Entrepreneurship (NACCE) 10th annual national conference in Chicago, Ill this October 7-10.  “This conference is part of our system, we want to get the youth out of Arkansas and expose them to their ability to compete in activities such as the National Student Entrepreneur Business Showcase.  This opportunity will allow the youth to compete for money to fund their business. The youth will also meet entrepreneurs, and global leaders who support entrepreneurship while at the conference.  Our organization has taken a delegation of youth to this conference for the past two years.  This conference will help to get these young people fired up and ready to take on the WORLD, when they return to DeValls Bluff.” 

Tre Bradley plans to work with Elevate to introduce a statewide youth entrepreneur’s trade summit next year.  Trey proclaimed, “Why can’t young people from all over Arkansas get together and figure out how we can support each other through our businesses. I was motivated by seeing so many youth from around the state who also wanted to start businesses!”

Hampton noted that, “We will launch 5 youth businesses in DeValls Bluff in the next year! This community is well positioned to begin supporting youth entrepreneurs.  Upon visiting your community we were impressed with young people such as Raven Sawyer who has launched a dance studio here in DeValls Bluff.  Also, upon meeting with your Mayor and reviewing the many properties that are available, I am confident that we create a first class entrepreneurship incubator right here in DeValls Bluff.  The key is to get your community to begin thinking entrepreneurially.  The thought must move from we don’t have jobs because we can’t get another factory into the community to thinking we just will create our own industry!  Youth young people have the ability to develop online businesses, work with new technologies, and become the entrepreneurial leaders of tomorrow today.” 

For Additional Information / Interviews:

Curtis Arnold

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Matthew E.P. Hampton

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Maria Hampton

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