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Rodrigo Salas is determined to increase NWA entrepreneurial opportunities

A key aspect of entrepreneurship is connecting with others, which requires empathy.

“I think that [empathy] is the most important part for any person who wants to be a mentor or help somebody,” Rodrigo Salas said during a recent interview.

 

That’s one of many lessons Salas has learned during a successful marketing and advertising career, but maybe more importantly, as a small business owner. Using that know-how, he’s mentoring other aspiring entrepreneurs in Northwest Arkansas.

Salas, 49, is the executive director of Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) Northwest Arkansas. The business accelerator is an affiliate of Massachusetts-based nonprofit Entrepreneurship for All, a national entrepreneurship organization with offices across the country. Its mission is to make entrepreneurship accessible to anyone with the drive to start their own business and create opportunities to build generational wealth for their families.

EforAll was founded in 2010 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande. He believed that the best way to close the opportunity inequality gap was to support would-be entrepreneurs in the communities on their journey. He established EforAll to help entrepreneurs launch ventures, particularly entrepreneurs beyond the tech sector who may have limited access to startup capital or the traditional “incubator” or accelerator programs.

Funding from Bentonville-based Walton Family Foundation supports the Northwest Arkansas accelerator, which launched in March 2021 as the state’s first EforAll community. The nonprofit hired Salas later that year.