What is the “new normal” in business going to be starting in 2021? What businesses or services or professions are going to be recession-proof in the future? What can residents of Southwest Arkansas do to prepare themselves for the “new normal,” whatever that may be? These are all questions posed by University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana (UAHT) Business Instructor, George Smith. “These are crucial questions for existing businesses, businesses put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, and businesses that only exist in fledgling entrepreneurs’ creative minds,” Smith said.
In response to these questions, UAHT has instructors, courses, and tools specifically geared to prepare students for success in a wide variety of business, professional, and technical avenues. The college also provides classes designed to showcase opportunities for students with dreams, creativity, and determination to create a professional niche in the future economic base by starting their own businesses. According to Smith, “national economists, as well as Forbes Magazine, are predicting that beginning in 2021, start-up businesses aimed at specific areas of the consumer-centric marketplace will be in high demand.”
One class UAHT offers aimed at helping students who desire to start their own business is Entrepreneurial Leadership. “The Entrepreneurial Leadership class is geared to business owners and employees who see a need to increase revenue, their economic role in the community, expand services or product lines, or those who work for an existing business and would like to look at ways to seek promotion opportunities. In the course, students go through every step of creating a business from scratch: exploring key areas of business ownership, laws and regulations, financing, development of competent staff, branding and marketing across all available avenues, hiring, firing, delegation, and crisis management. At the end of the course, every student will have a comprehensive business plan that will be an applicable guidebook to starting virtually any business,” Smith said.
The course was designed and is taught by Hope native and UAHT adjunct instructor George S. Smith, with Edward Lamb, UAHT business instructor. Smith is a former editor and publisher of newspapers in four states, former corporate communications executive for two Fortune 500 companies, and former director of global communications for a Japan-based global positioning systems company. Smith is also co-author of “Circumference of Me: A Unique Management Guide for Our Life and Times,” a book used at several universities as supplemental reading in business courses, including masters’ level courses.
The Entrepreneurial Leadership class is available in-person on the Hope campus and via distance learning at the Texarkana campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00-2:15 p.m. To register for this class or other classes at UAHT, call 870-777-5722.