Deborah Markley Tami Hornbeck
Leadership Team Welcoming Remarks
• Vicky Williamson
• Amber Thurston
• Melody Harmon
• Chris Brown
• Ryan Lee
• Charlie Smith
• Brad Johnson
is an approach to economic development that connects a region’s assets
to market demand in ways that build rooted wealth for local people,
places and firms.
brings together a range of public, private and non-profit sector partners
who have self-interest in the outcomes and an openness to discovering
shared or common interests.
focuses on building a sector rather than individual and unrelated
Prosperity Summit Stakeholders…
Take a moment to reflect on your self-interest in being here today and
where you see an opportunity in Agriculture/Sustainable Agriculture.
Write down on a card.
Go around and share name/organization and your self-interest in this
Overview of WealthWorks
Goal: Advance a region’s prosperity by building
wealth that sticks
WealthWorks is a bridge between community
development (voice, empowerment, organizing) and
economic development (attraction, retention,
Principles or Design Elements
1. Focus on creating wealth, broadly defined, and
aspire to do no harm.
2. Build lasting livelihoods by intentionally including
3. Root wealth in local people, places and firms
through local ownership and influence.
4. Use a systems approach – WealthWorks Value
Chains – to build value in existing and emerging
#1: Investing in and Building 8 Capitals
Wealth is not just
Wealth is the reservoir of
all assets that can
contribute to the well-
being of people, places
Every place has wealth.
Defining Wealth Broadly
The Capital The Definition
Individual Skills, education, physical health, and mental wellness
Intellectual Knowledge, resourcefulness, creativity, and innovation
Social Trust, relationships, and networks
Cultural Traditions, customs, and ways of doing
Natural Natural resources
Built Infrastructure – for example, buildings, sewer systems, broadband, roads
Political Influence on decision makers and shakers
Financial Savings and investment
All are required to grow and sustain a healthy economy over the long-term!
Building Your Stock of Wealth
Turning on the tap = Investment
To maintain or increase the quantity and quality
of the capital, you need to invest.
Building Your Stock of Wealth
Letting water out = consumption
As long as the investment coming into
the bathtub comes in faster than the
water that drains out, the stock will
Building Your Stock of Wealth
Reinvestment is key to maintenance
Aspire to Do No Harm
You don’t build your
stock of wealth
by draining one form at
the expense of another.
#2: Build Lasting Livelihoods
“Lasting livelihoods” means…
− Low-income residents are doing better today, with
improved skills to qualify for higher-paying jobs.
− They are earning more and building careers.
− They are putting something aside for the future, e.g.,
building assets, so they are more resilient.
− They have better future prospects so they can give back
their time, talent, and even treasure to the community.
Recognize Your Assets, Including
Those on the Margins
• Many places harbor underutilized assets ̶ people’s know-how
and energy, natural resources, buildings, influence, connections…
– that are not contributing to the broader economy.
• Underutilized assets can be connected, developed, and linked to
markets in ways that create wealth.
• Economically-marginalized people and places are resources –
and they (and everyone) will do better if they are connected to
• Need to include all, but too often economically-marginal are
Many Roles for Low-income People
• As explorers helping to identify opportunity and demand
• As producers/entrepreneurs adding value to a good or service
connected to market demand, and increasing skill and ability in
• As employees of businesses producing goods or services, or of
organizations supporting WealthWorks value chains
• As consumers of higher quality/lower cost goods or services
produced by or leveraged by WealthWorks value chains
• As investors, owners, or co-owners, gaining,
retaining and building wealth that sticks
#3: Wealth without Ownership isn’t Rooted
Capitals that are “owned” locally build wealth.
• Ownership means you capture and control the flow of benefits
from the capitals over time. It creates enduring, stable benefits.
• Benefits – e.g., income, know-how, better technology – flowing
from local ownership of capitals can be re-invested and re-
circulated locally, enriching many.
• Preserving local ownership or control
over your capitals can increase the
chances of preserving local jobs.
• Local ownership is an anchor that helps
Dimensions of Ownership
Ownership and control looks like…
− Many locally-owned businesses committed to the
− Local access to certificates or two-year degrees
through the community college
− Local endowment in the community foundation or
− Other examples?
#4: Tie wealth to place and connect
WealthWorks Value Chains connect local production to
regional demand to bring fresh money into rural
communities, defined as:
A network of people, businesses,
institutions, and non-profits
who collaborate to meet market demand
for specific products or services –
each advancing individual self-interest
while together creating greater local wealth.
• Build relationships with other community partners to focus
on a sector (today’s Summit!!)
• Build relationships with demand
• Build relationships with other producers, suppliers, etc.
• Build relationships with support partners (e.g., educational
institutions, financial institutions, Cooperative Extension)
• And many, many others!
Coordination role is central and critical!
Storyteller is here to share her experience.
WealthWorks in Action
Turning the challenges of region
into opportunities by building upon
assets and resources
to develop a new economic sector.
Arkansas Delta: Landscape of Contrasts
Poverty rate > 22%
economy based on
farmers and small
scale farmers struggle
to stay on land
programs can’t place
graduates due to lack
Rich with entrepreneurial
Agriculture – Some of
most fertile farmland in
870,000 acres of land
fallow during winter
Excellent network of
Culture: Fried catfish,
fries, living off the land –
hunting, fishing farming
Researching Camelina varieties on ASU
and PCCUA test plots since 2011 as
Winter oilseed crop for Delta: Plant in
October, harvest early May
Crushed into oil and Omega 3-rich meal
Rotational crop for soybeans,
2011: Technology developed at Mid-South Community College
as a teaching tool; 200,000 gallon annual capacity
Compact, fully automated, waterless, multiple feedstocks
Generates ASTM standard fuel that can be blended with
petroleum diesel or used alone (B100) in any diesel engine
Interest in commercializing the technology
Low capital investment for entire refinery installation
Waste Vegetable Oil
DeWitt had successful recycling program
initiated in 2012; adding WVO Recycling
Hub of 10 county waste vegetable oil recycling district
through efforts of Southeast Arkansas Economic Development
Cost savings for city water, sewage systems
Sources of WVO
-Jail -Hospital -Schools -Campgrounds -Lodges -Fried