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Growing Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

The Delta Regional Authority recognizes the importance of small businesses and entrepreneurship to the economy. Since 1992, locally-owned establishments with 9 or fewer employees have created over 91 percent of the net new jobs, bringing more than 58,000 new jobs to the region.

The country’s small businesses are vitally important to our past success and critical to creating a robust economy in the future. 

Chairman Masingill is committed to supporting the growth of small businesses in the Delta region as an economic driver and job creation tool. As a culmination of Chairman Masingill's vision for the small business and entrepreneurship community of the Delta region, DRA has collaborated with Dr. James Stapleton and the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to outline the Authority's priorities for small businesses and entrepreneurs moving forward.

The DRA Small Business & Entrepreneurship Policy Framework identifies five key components to creating a successful entrepreneurial ecosystem and action steps to support these policies:
  • Developing a Pipeline of Educated and Skilled Entrepreneurs
  • Cultivating Technology Exchange and Innovation
  • Improving Access to Capital
  • Promoting Awareness and Building Networks
  • Optimizing the Regulatory Environment
SBE Policy Framework Cover


Small Business Initiatives and Investments



DRA supports a variety of activities to promote small businesses and entrepreneurship in the Delta region. DRA's report, Investing in the Delta: Small Business & Entrepreneurship, identifies the investments made and leveraged by the Delta Regional Authority in support of programs that provide technical assistance and skills training, increase access to affordable capital, and help to create an entrepreneurial environment that cultivates innovative solutions to our region's most pressing challenges.

Operation JumpStart - a microenterprise development programThese activities help diversify the region's economic base, create and save jobs, increase the competitiveness of existing businesses, foster the development and use of innovative technologies, and enhance entrepreneurial activity:

  • Giving entrepreneurs greater access to capital, including technical assistance support ranging from financial literacy to accessing venture and angel capital funds;

  • Educating and training entrepreneurs through trade education programs and startup capital initiatives such as Operation Jump-Start;

  • Promoting sector and regional-based approaches to maximize the economic strengths of local communities; and
  • Facilitating strategic support for business incubators and other forms of technical assistance.
DRA collaborates with the SBAUSDA, EDAHUD, and all other federal agencies to improve the availability and impact of quality affordable capital in the distressed Delta region.