Little Rock, Ark. – March 10, 2021 – As fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge small businesses, Winrock International is pleased to announce the Small Business E-commerce Local Learning (SELL) project to support small businesses in Northwest Arkansas. Funded by the Walton Family Foundation, SELL leverages Winrock’s proven entrepreneurial programming support, coaching and mentorship to provide websites, e-commerce platforms, training and long-term consultation to 150 small businesses located in the northwest Arkansas counties of Benton and Washington.
The pandemic has revealed significant challenges to small businesses. In particular, those that lack an online presence have struggled to deal with the realities of the new economy. According to Clutch, a leading market research firm, e-commerce is growing 23 percent a year, yet 46 percent of American small businesses do not have a website, often due to a lack of available time, expertise and resources. For small business owners, building, managing and maintaining a website can be daunting, and even do-it-yourself website options still require some technical tasks to build a webpage and storefront. Hiring a web developer often comes with a higher price tag. Additionally, once built, the site often requires ongoing costs related to its maintenance and upkeep.
“Traditional brick and mortar small businesses have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 global pandemic because of lower foot traffic,” Winrock U.S. Programs Senior Director Linsley Kinkade said. “Conversely, we’ve seen companies that pivoted and were prepared for online sales make it through the economic challenges. We look forward to connecting small businesses in Northwest Arkansas with the capabilities, training and support to break into online sales.”
The SELL project will alleviate this barrier for small business owners. SELL will connect Northwest Arkansas businesses with e-commerce-enabled websites and enroll them in the Northwest Arkansas Marketplace. It will instruct business leaders to maximize opportunities through e-commerce and social media marketing. And it will help the businesses grow their revenue by opening the doors to new customers and markets through e-commerce.
Small business owners interested in receiving support through SELL can visit https://sellnwa.org to complete a short form. Once submitted, an application assistance specialist will be in touch to discuss needs and opportunities.
To learn more about the Small Business E-commerce Local Learning project, visit https://sellnwa.org.
ABOUT WINROCK INTERNATIONAL
Winrock International is a recognized leader in U.S. and international development with a focus on social, agricultural and environmental issues. Inspired by its namesake, Winthrop Rockefeller, Winrock combines scientific and technical expertise with entrepreneurial innovation to deliver market-based solutions that improve lives around the world. Winrock’s mission is to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity and sustain natural resources across the globe.
ABOUT WALTON FAMILY FOUNDATION
The Walton Family Foundation is at its core, a family-led foundation. Three generations of the descendants of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, and their spouses, work together to lead the foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We work in three areas: improving K-12 education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. To learn more, visit waltonfamilyfoundation.org.