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Winrock International

Winrock International’s Multicultural Business Xcellerator (MBX) champions inclusive innovation and entrepreneurship in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. ─ Winrock International is excited to introduce the Multicultural Business Xcellerator (MBX), an initiative supported by the Walton Family Foundation aimed at promoting inclusive innovation and entrepreneurship in Arkansas.

MBX will target ten companies in its first cohort – five from Arkansas and five from outside the state. Cohort members will participate in a 16-week program based in Northwest Arkansas in 2024, where MBX will help connect companies to expert mentors, capital, and new customers, facilitating accelerated growth, expansion and investment opportunities.

As the entrepreneurial landscape in Arkansas gradually diversifies, MBX recognizes the underrepresentation of BIPOC entrepreneurs in the state. According to the 2021 Arkansas Capital Scan by the University of Arkansas, the majority of seed funding ─ both in Arkansas and nationwide ─ has historically gone to startups and small businesses led by white males, leaving women and people of color with limited access to resources. MBX intends to bridge these gaps in funding, procurement, and mentorship, positioning Arkansas as a hub for inclusive entrepreneurial success.

MBX is a venture development program for diverse founders, offering curated programming to tech-driven, multicultural businesses, and aiming to revolutionize inclusive innovation in Arkansas’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The 16-week program, set to commence in 2024 in Northwest Arkansas, will connect participants with expert mentorship, coaching, potential sources of capital, customers, and expansion opportunities to facilitate accelerated growth. The eligibility criteria for MBX include:

  • Innovative tenacity: MBX seeks visionaries who are building transformative tech and tech-enabled companies.
  • Diversified leadership: MBX seeks companies led by women and/or under-represented founders.
  • Scalability and market acumen: MBX seeks participants primed for growth and able to demonstrate that their product meets a market need.
  • Resolute commitment and adaptability: MBX seeks entrepreneurs willing to commit to the program and who are eager to evolve and thrive.

“Winrock has long been committed to expanded access to business support services, entrepreneurial acceleration and financing to BIPOC and women-owned businesses,” said Winrock’s U.S. Programs Director Linsley Kinkade. “We are excited to launch MBX, and encourage multicultural entrepreneurs to explore this exciting program. Participants will access mentoring and networking opportunities, gain market visibility, and tap into other support tailored to their needs. By intentionally focusing on underrepresented businesses and founders, this project and the companies launched will have a major impact on inclusivity and diversity across the entrepreneurial landscape in Arkansas and the region.”

Applications for the first cohort will be accepted beginning Oct. 11, 2023.

About the Walton Family Foundation

The Walton Family Foundation, led by three generations of the descendants of founders Sam and Helen Walton, focuses on creating opportunities for people and communities. Their work includes improving K-12 education, conserving rivers and oceans, and investing in Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. Learn more at

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.