HOPE, Ark. -- This spring, the University of Arkansas Hope Texarkana will offer an Entrepreneurial Strategy and Leadership course at both campuses.
The course is designed to teach students the critical elements of developing, owning, and operating a small business. By the end of the class, students will produce a viable business plan.
The course is designed and taught by Hope native and UAHT adjunct instructor George S. Smith. Smith is a former editor and publisher of newspapers in four states (including the Texarkana Gazette and Hope Star), corporate communications executive for two Fortune 500 companies and director of global communications for a Japan-based Global Positioning Systems company.
Smith is also the author of "Circumference of Me," a business management book that has been used at several universities as supplementary reading in business courses.
"This is something that's very dear to my heart," Smith said.
Smith said he teaches this course once a year, and this will be the course's third semester.
"There's just so much manufacturing and so many service jobs that are going to exist in an area like (Texarkana). To me, growth is in the future," he said. "And the future is in developing your own small business. And this course is designed to take someone from concept all the way through to developing a business plan for a virtual business.
"When they get through with the course, they will have a business plan. So if they decide to start their own business, it doesn't even have to be the one they use in the class, but they'll have the skeleton of a plan they can very quickly adapt to their own business."
Chancellor Dr. Christine Holt said this course is a part of UAHT's realization of a growth opportunity in the area.
"The recent pandemic has created challenges for the communities UAHT serves," Holt said. "However, as with every challenge, there are also opportunities for future growth, both individually and professionally. One of the areas of growth that has presented itself is starting new, sustainable small businesses."
Smith said he once saw a business study that showed that around 80% of people who have jobs have thought about starting their own business.
"It's something everybody's got in the back of their head," he said. "And what this course is designed to do is let you explore that possibility."
Entrepreneurial Strategy and Leadership Course with be taught on the Hope campus from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays and on the Texarkana campus, via video, at the same day and time.
(For more information or to register, call the UAHT Purtle Advising Center at 870-722-8124 or email [email protected])