Expand Entrepreneurship & Job Growth in Arkansas via the Community Reinvestment Act

Partnering with The Venture Center may qualify financial institutions to receive credit under the federal government’s Community Reinvestment Act. The Venture Center is an entrepreneur support organization that helps startups become viable, high-growth businesses. 

Since its enactment, the CRA has helped channel capital into communities and, in the process, supported innovative and effective approaches to community development. For financial institutions that choose to have their investments, donations and service hours considered during a CRA examination, the issue of what qualifies for CRA purposes has remained a hot topic. 

Qualified investments, donations and service hours under the CRA range from highly complex government-sponsored programs to simple community donations given to nonprofit organizations.  Examples of common contributions to The Venture Center that may qualify banks for positive consideration during bank CRA examinations include:

  • Financially contributing to The Venture Center, a 501(c)(3) organization that promotes economic development and entrepreneurial growth in Central Arkansas, as well as community development in low- to moderate-income areas for low- to moderate-income individuals. 
  • Serving as one of The Venture Center’s mentors to provide expertise, knowledge and leadership to the local workforce system. 
  • Providing financial support through a financial sponsorship of Jolt or one of The Venture Center’s other workforce development or technical programs.
  • Partnering with the Venture Center’s FinTech Accelerator program which is related to the innovation of financial products and services.

With the expertise of a world class team of mentors, successful entrepreneurs and corporate leaders who deliver top-notch entrepreneurial education and introductions to the investor community, the Venture Center serves as an engine for economic growth by:

  • Facilitating the creation of new business in Central Arkansas, the Delta region and beyond, as well as attracting new businesses to those communities.
  • Helping bank-enabled FinTech startups create innovative products and services for the banking industry.
  • Strengthening the technical community to attract and retain associates with different backgrounds, experiences, ideas and skills through unique programs and events.
  • Positively affecting business revenues with increased sales, profits and greater returns for our member companies.

CRA initiatives are vital to the financial health of local economies that rely on bank products and services—and by helping these economies grow, banks can grow through increased deposits and loans. These initiatives can help banks create a wide range of customer relationships that support the bank’s growth over the long-term.

The ABA is proud that Arkansas serves as a host to The Venture Center and its FinTech startups. New technologies provided by The Venture Center companies benefit our banks and— more importantly—their customers by providing products and services to help consumers safeguard their finances, save for the future, achieve goals of homeownership and so much more. An investment in FinTech is truly an investment in the communities that our banks serve every day. It is fascinating to think about all of the new jobs that could be created from this accelerator in the next few years. We look forward to the impact these technologies will make, both for our industry and our communities.
— Bill Holmes, President & CEO Arkansas Bankers Association

The Venture Center promotes activities in which banks have a vested interest. In the first three years, The Venture Center’s member companies have created more than 445 jobs, generated $28 million in revenue and have raised a combined $39 million in capital.

Call 501-404-9875 to learn more about how you can help us drive the economic growth that can ultimately fuel your institution.