Delta Regional Authority Invests $185,000 in El Dorado Incubator

The Delta Regional Authority said Wednesday that it will invest more than $185,000 in the El Dorado Incubator Environment, known as EDIE’s Village, to support entrepreneurs in Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, and Union counties.

The DRA said it approved the project in coordination with Gov. Mike Beebe's office last month.

The DRA, a federal-state partnership that tries to create jobs in the 252 counties and parishes of the Mississippi Delta, said the investment will:

  • Develop student-run business, expecting 25-30 students to participate in the program
  • Launch retail space for 20 local entrepreneurs "in a low-cost environment for businesses to sell products"
  • Leverage additional resources from the U.S. Small Business Administration and Housing and Urban Development
  • Provide one-on-one business development and product marketing counseling for participating entrepreneurs.

"This investment honors the hard work of our region's small businesses and entrepreneurs," DRA Chairman Chris Masingill said in a news release. "They are truly the lifeblood of the Delta economy -- starting and expanding small businesses that create jobs in good times and in bad.

"Business incubators like EDIE’s Village will be on the front lines of that growth, helping these businesses create jobs today and a stronger Delta economy for years to come."