University of Arkansas


Fayetteville, AR

Project Name

GORP Around the State

Award Amount

Federal Share: $1.2 million
Local Match: $1.3 million

This EDA investment will support the expansion of the Greenhouse Outdoor Recreation Program (GORP) statewide to extend existing business incubation support to founders of tech-enabled companies creating products and services in outdoor recreation. Closely aligned with state-level economic development strategies promoting the outdoor economy, GORP AR will bring expert business development workshops, industry events, and experienced mentors to entrepreneurs across Arkansas. In collaboration with partners from the UA School of Law, GORP AR programming will include entrepreneurial law sessions to assist founders with Operating Agreements and other business formation documents.

In an effort to reach rural and underserved communities, GORP AR will target communities within range of four state parks that have recently been designated as economic Opportunity Zones: Queen Wilhelmina State Park (Mena, AR), Petit Jean State Park (Morrilton, AR), Pinnacle Mountain State Park (Roland, AR), and Delta Heritage Trail State Park (West Helena, AR). Working in partnership with several entities from state government, nonprofits, local colleges and universities, and peer entrepreneurial support organizations, the GORP AR initiative will foster outdoor recreation innovation clusters in underserved communities that have remained insulated from the technical assistance, training, and talent flows necessary to build businesses capitalizing on Arkansas’ natural assets. The program will create structures that support entrepreneurs in building their businesses locally, which will in turn promote resilience and economic development as part of an industry that state officials have championed as one of Arkansas’ primary economic engines.