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Arkansas Economic Development Commission - Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Logo

Minority & Women-Owned Business Enterprise
2023 Matchmaking Event

The Matchmaking Event will take place at the Ron Robinson Theater and the Rock It! Lab. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Ron Robinson Theater.

The Matchmaking Event is a resource and networking opportunity for minority and women-owned businesses and local, state, and federal government buyers across Arkansas. This is a one-day event to help minority and women-owned businesses match with private and public sector buyers for contract opportunities. Registrants will have 15-minute, pre-arranged matchmaking appointments that would be otherwise difficult to schedule independently.

We are excited to announce that the event will be held on Thursday, May 18 at the Ron Robinson Theater, and the Rock It! Lab. This year’s event will be hosted by the MWOBE division of AEDC and co-hosted by the Arkansas District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Arkansas Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC).

Luncheon Sponsor

Minority Business Development Agency Logo

Presenting Sponsor

Arkansas Capital Corporation Logo

Workshops Sponsors

Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas Logo
Little Rock Regional Chamber Logo
Little Rock Water Reclamation Authority Logo
National Institute of Government Procurement - Arkansas Chapter Logo
Nelson Intelligence Solutions


Plan your day and see details about the valuable workshops. All attendees will be provided with a physical copy of the agenda on the day of the event.

Download the agenda for the Matchmaking Event by clicking the button below.

Download Agenda
Matchmaking Event Agenda Cover

Keynote Speaker

Ted James Official Image

Edward “Ted” James

SBA Regional Administrator, Region 6-SouthCentral

Administrator Edward "Ted" James was appointed by President Joe Biden to serve as the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Regional Administrator for Region 6 South Central Region in December of 2021. In this position, Ted will oversee the administration of SBA products and services in ten district offices; with one each located in Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas and six located in Texas.

Ted’s passion for leadership is driven by a deeply held desire to impact the lives of others while transforming the community he simply calls “his village.” The Baton Rouge native was taught at an early age the value of service, the strength of community, the importance of a quality education, and the principles of social justice.

Ted has received several honors and awards for his work and service. Most notably, he is the recipient of the Baton Rouge Business Report’s “Forty Under 40” award and the National Chapter of the NAACP’s “Top 40 Power Players under 40” award. He was also named to the National Bar Association’s 2013 Nation’s Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40.

Ted earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Southern University A & M College and went on to obtain his Juris Doctorate with honors from the Southern University Law Center where he also served as the President of the Student Bar Association. He is a member of Beacon Light Baptist Church and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He is the proud father of his daughter, Harper Ryan James.

Read Ted's Full Bio

2022 Matchmaking Event Gallery

Where to Park

Parking is available at the River Market Parking Deck, a city-owned and operated parking deck centrally located in the Little Rock River Market District.

$2 per hour (per vehicle)
$12 per consecutive 24-hour period (per vehicle)
$12 lost parking ticket fee

500 E 2nd St
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
(501) 907-9575

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Contact Us

If you need further assistance with this event, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Esperanza Massana-Crane

Director of Minority and Women-Owned
Business Enterprise

Karen Castle

Minority And Women-Owned Business
Certification Manager

Email   |   Call

Ana Rodriguez

Project Coordinator

Email   |   Call