Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in International Business

Degree Level





Garcia Contreras, Rogelio


Arkansas is home to one of the greatest projects in the world of Community Development Financial Institutions: Southern Bancorp. Founded with the help and support of Bill Clinton, it pre-dates The Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994, which is now used to fund similar Community Development Financial Institutions. According to the Opportunity Finance Network (2022), there are more than 1,200 Community Development Financial Institutions in the United States. These institutions span the country and operate in unique communities. The CDFI Coalition (2017) cites Arkansas as having 19 Community Development Financial Institutions in the state. It is important to study these institutions as they are longtime members in the communities they reside. As we move forward, understanding if/how Community Development Financial Institutions accomplish their mission will reveal needed changes to make their practices more effective or insights that can be taken to other areas of the community development or financial sectors. This study will attempt to prove if Community Development Financial Institutions, specifically Southern Bancorp, accomplish their mission in the state of Arkansas. This will be approached in three ways: first, providing a contextualized understanding of what the goals of Community Development Financial Institutions, the Riegle Act, and Southern Bancorp are; second, through data analysis of economic indicators for the county in which Southern Bancorp is headquarters and for an appropriate control county; and finally, through an interview with the current CEO of Southern Bancorp and testimonials of several Southern Bancorp customers.


CDFI, Community Development Financial Institutions, Arkansas