News and Stories

Quarterly Newsletters

  • Winter 2017 - TN leads the nation in small business job growth;  TN Smart Start Guide, printed and shipped; Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs.
  • Fall 2016 - LiftTN: Urban Core Edition, open for application; SBA disaster loans, deadlines near; Co.Starters Summit, Rural Task Force report released


DBE Topics in the News


SSIR: The New Double Bottom Line
…The article examines how microloans went “from being the silver bullet to end poverty, to the poor man’s snare, to largely ignored.” Offering small loans may increase business investment, the article postulates, but has a limited

DailyNews Memphis: Council Signals Minority Contract Concerns on Airport Bond Issue
…But council members served notice that in the new year they expect the airport authority and other public entities to do better in minority and locally owned-business contracting.”

Memphis Biz Journal: Minority-Owned Businesses Ranked by Gross revenue 2015
This is a list of 20 minority owned companies in Tennessee that can be purchased or provided with a subscription to the journal.

The Commercial Appeal: Greater Memphis Chamber pairs minority businesses with mentors
The Greater Memphis Chamber moved ahead Thursday with a campaign meant to build up minority-owned businesses… “This program is one part of what the Chamber is doing in conjunction with the Supplier Diversity

HBS: The Small Business Administration is a Model for How to Drive Economic Growth
...The arguments implied that small businesses that make up our nation’s “Main Street” sector are not particularly important to the US economy  …Small businesses are actually the foundation for economic growth and,

Memphis BizJournal: City hires financial exec to help minority and women entrepreneurs
 “Last week, the City of Memphis’ Office of Business Diversity and Compliance welcomed the former head of River City Capital to assist a creative sector of women and minority owned entrepreneurs.”

MBDA: SBA to Launch $1.2 Million Aspire Challenge for Entrepreneurship Training and Microloans to Help Previously Incarcerated Citizens
…announced the Aspire Challenge, a prize competition of up to $1.2 million to expand access to entrepreneurial education and microloans for formerly incarcerated individuals. The competition will make up to 16 awards …

BizWomen: Nashville Women of Influence winners announced
 “On the cusp of the new year, the Nashville Business Journal has announced its Women of Influence winners for 2017.”

FastCompany: Building The Businesses That Could Diversify The Appalachian Economy
...Here, where coal, the declining juggernaut of the state economy, threatens to take auxiliary industries like transportation and machinery down with it, that often means helping coal-dependent companies find new… Export Guides Cover 97 Percent of World Economy Outside of the U.S.
More than 95 percent of the world’s consumers reside outside of the United States… U.S. Country Commercial Guides now cover markets representing 97 percent of global GDP outside of the United States.

WATE ABC: Urban League hosts pitch competition for East Knoxville businesses (video)
The Knoxville Area Urban League is hosting a competition for entrepreneurs. The Paradigm Challenge: East Knoxville edition will allow entrepreneurs to give pitches for business and economic growth challenges.

BizWomen: Kidpreneur raises more capital to move beyond lemonade
 “An Austin entrepreneur […] has snagged new funding to expand her consumer packaged goods business. Now Mikaila Ulmer might just be the city's best-funded 11-year-old business woman.”



The Commercial Appeal: Memphis students pitch their startup ideas, our future
Twenty-five high-minded students from low-income families and schools were given a series of challenges a few months ago. Identify a problem. Come up with an idea to address the problem. Turn the idea into a business…

FastCompany: Income Inequality Keeps Growing—And It's Worse Than We Thought
…The research is important because it also points to what might work to decrease income inequality, and what won't work. The paper calls for more equal education access, labor market reforms to boost workers' wage…

GEN: Economic Development Challenge, Idea Space Fair Winners Announced
As part of the lead-up to the GEC 2017, a variety of competitions have been taking place since July 2016, namely the Enterprise Development (ED) Challenge and the Idea Space Fair.

The Knoxville Focus: East Tennessee Business Growth Conference: How to do Business with the Government
…Highlights of the conference include:  How to do Business with TVA and TVA Prime Contractors and Oak Ridge Department of Energy DOE/NNSA Prime Contractors. Corp of Engineers and Other Agency/Prime Contractor

The Daily News:  Memphis is Startup USA
Umer Adnan, founder and CEO of Cowlar, came to Memphis from Pakistan to continue to grow his startup, which is a wearable device in the form of a collar for dairy cows. This aids farmers by providing health and wellness data…

Soundcloud: Bunker Business Awards 2016 Winners Announced - Hear Their Stories (listen now)
The Bunker Business Awards and Mess Night […] brought together leaders and innovators. Mixing military tradition with the entrepreneurial spirit, the night honored those who have both fought for, and achieved, the American…

BizWomen: Her startup wants to make it easy to get prosthetic limbs
… The company's first product, the AK Creator, is a "prosthetic limb vending machine" that will one day allow a person to scan their limb and create a 3D prosthetic device with a same day or next day turnaround.

U.S. Census Bureau: Hispanic-Owned Businesses on the Upswing
 “The number of U.S. businesses owned by Hispanics grew by more than 1 million firms, or 46.3 percent, from 2.3 million to 3.3 million from 2007 to 2012. In contrast, the total number of all U.S. firms increased 2.0 percent…

Memphis Flyer: Etsy Declares Memphis an "Official Maker City"
Etsy, the online entity that enables entrepreneurs to sell their products internationally just designated Memphis as an official "Maker City." Memphis is the fourth city to receive this title from Etsy.


Kauffman Foundation Awards $4.3 Million in Grants to Organizations that Support Women and Minority Entrepreneurs
…Selected from more than 376 applicants, the Inclusion Challenge grantees serve a range of sectors in 13 states from coast to coast… Inclusion Challenge grantees included: The Company Lab and LAUNCH, Chattanooga

BizWomen: How more daughters are taking over the family business
… Among conclusions in the study, “Women in Leadership: The Family Business Advantage,” …”70 percent of family businesses are considering a woman for their next CEO, and 30 percent are strongly considering…

BizWomen: Her 'silly' tampon mail order business does good — and makes money
Now on her second business to launch with profitable sales before she’s turned 20, Claire Coder is not exactly primed to listen to naysayers. …She raised $25,000 from crowdfunding and $10,000 from business competitions.

Times Free Press: Diverse group of women meet in effort to boost lives across Chattanooga and Tennessee [video]
…Fear holds women back from starting a business and from negotiating for fair pay, she said. Then she offered a quote from the late Eleanor Roosevelt to support her statement.

BizWomen: Why the founders of BET, Sucampo want to invest in women-led companies
… [WE Capital], which is composed of 12 women from Greater Washington’s business community, will invest in female-led startups that focus on social impact work. They’ve collectively raised $12 million in initial investment…

NAWBO: 28 Years Ago, You Couldn’t Get a Loan Without a Man
 “Less than 30 years ago, women who wanted a business loan in many U.S. states were required to provide a signature from a male relative.”

BizWomen: Want more government contracts? Overcome these hurdles
…In a report entitled “Do Not Enter: Women Shut Out of U.S. Government’s Biggest Contracts[WIPP] analyzed a sample comprised of 19 federal “multiple award contracts” (MACs), with a combined value of $253 billion…

GEW2016: High School Startup Day: Space and Place for Student Voice
The goal? Introduce over 100 students from eight different schools to startup methodology while tackling the issue of High School Education.

BizWomen: Teen CEO seals deal with Dick's Sporting Goods
...the company's CEO is 16-year-old Rachel Zietz, who appeared on ABC's "Shark Tank,” ….Prior to sealing the deal with Dick's Sporting Goods, the company was expected to earn more than $2 million in revenue this year.”

…Yet thousands of former service members have found success through franchising.  According to a recent study by the International Franchise Association, 1 in 7 franchises is veteran-owned generating more than $441 billion.

BizWomen: Women's co-working space is ready to rise
Demand for space at RISE Collaborative, the 6,500-square-foot co-working office space devoted to women entrepreneurs in Clayton, Mo., just outside of St. Louis, is strong…

BizWomen: On Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, words of wisdom from 10 female founders
Today marks the annual Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, the day when the world takes a moment to recognize the big dreams and hard-earned rewards of female founders everywhere.

BizWomen: How this entrepreneur raised $1.1 million in 40 days
… The 40-day campaign last fall garnered about 20,000 presales placed from 60 different countries. Yale School of Management Professor Olav Sorenson studies crowdfunding and investing trends and said Knix Wear’s rapid-fire…

BizWomen: Mom's life is sweet after her stink stopping product takes off
… When Krista Woods created GloveStix, she didn’t know she’d become “this magic stink-master” who people turn to for help with their pungency problems. The Ashburn, Va., mom who found a solution to smelly sports…

BizWomen: How far Latina women fall behind white men when it comes to pay
 “Nov. 1 marks Equal Pay Day for Latina women, who earn 54 cents for every dollar non-Hispanic, white men earn.
Compared to the 79-cent national average, the pay gap for Latina women is more like a chasm.

Tennessean: Urbaanite to host tech event for minority entrepreneurs, artists
Urbaanite and Google Fiber are hosting Urban Digital, an event to support minority entrepreneurs and artists. Urban Digital will be held Saturday at POP Nashville and will provide tools and resources…

SCORE: Vetpreneurs Leading the Way (infographic)
Veterans make up only 8% of the US population, but they’re twice as likely to own a business as their civilian counterparts.

Nashville BizWomen: For female tech leaders, challenges and opportunities
 “They may be leaders today, but it hasn’t come without some gender-specific challenges. In the '80s, for example, O’Sullivan said she worked in a building without a women’s restroom, meaning she had to drive more than two… MomSource Network in final running to win $50,000 in ad materials
…MomSource, formerly MomForce, specializes in flexible full-time, part-time, telecommuting and job-share opportunities. MomSource Network advocates for all educated professionals, including men, millennials and…

BizWomen: SheWorx is changing the women's conference for good
… To fix that, Wang and Lin designed the event to have cabaret-style seating, pairing each investor with five female founders. In addition to panel discussions, there are hour-long breakout sessions in which each person at a table shares a challenge, and everyone seated around them works on a way to solve it.

U.S. Census Bureau: Women Responsible for the Increasing Number of “Vetrepreneurs”
 “…Between 2007 and 2012, the ranks of veteran-owned businesses rose by 74,074, or 3.0 percent, to reach 2.5 million. Women were solely responsible for this overall increase in the number of veteran-owned firms.

Memphis BizJournal: Minority-owned business helps UTHSC campus flourish
 “A local minority-owned business has secured a contract with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) as part of an effort to make the campus and the Medical District more welcoming.”

The Chattanoogan: TechTown Receives $10,000 Grant From Best Buy Foundation To Support Teen Initiatives
…STEAMgirls and STEAMteens at TechTown address the specific need of closing the socioeconomic, gender, ethnic, and availability gap that currently exists for many in our community.  By providing girl/teen-centric…

Women2.0: 13-Year Old Entrepreneur Inspires Other Girls with her App
…With my new app, Friendits, the idea came because I have some friends that have lots of things (clothes, shoes, gadgets) and some friends with very little. Many times, I’ve experienced my friends coming to me to borrow…

The Daily News: LITE to Use $40K Grant for Student Programs
…Farrow’s organization, Let’s Innovate Through Education (LITE), recently was one of 60 applicants nationwide to receive a grant from the State Farm Youth Advisory Board. …aims to turn minority students into entrepreneurs…

The Chattanoogan:  Chattanooga Chamber Hosts Minority Enterprise Development Week Oct. 24-27
…The week’s events connect minority entrepreneurs with minority business owners. All events are free, open to the public and geared toward business owners, community leaders and individuals who support the Chamber’s…

Teknovation: Atlanta’s Startup Runway has ties to and implications for Tennessee
…They have since added a number of energetic individuals from the Atlanta start-up ecosystem and linked-up with several investors including Kristina Montague of The JumpFund in Chattanooga.

Austin Daily Herald: Immigrant community gets economic boost
…Immigrant business owners and employees often face significant legal barriers to success. Immigrants’ unfamiliarity with American regulations and business networks are hurdles; preventing and resolving legal issues…

BizWomen: Female CEOs talk challenges of finding capital
… Other ideas: more programs like the Oregon Growth Board, which invests lottery proceeds in promising companies… Participants also spoke about the importance of individual development accounts, or matched…

LaunchTN: 2016-2017 The TENN Cohort Announced
Launch Tennessee today announced the eight companies chosen to participate in this year’s cohort of The TENN, its unique master accelerator program for top startups ...

Women 2.0: Mother of Five Builds Tech Empire (video)
 “This unstoppable entrepreneur is on her third company. Currently, she's CEO and founder of a multi-million dollar tech company, Eved, which provides a comprehensive event commerce solution for meetings and event…


Tennessean: Governor's Task Force focuses on health, education, entrepreneurship
…More resources are need for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners, according to the report. Among ideas are an online portal and buses that can bring resources to the rural areas and promote entrepreneurship…

Black Enterprise: Black Female Entrepreneurs Shine on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’
In honor of National Women’s Small Business Month, this celebrates black female entrepreneurs from this season of ABC's "Shark Tank," while highlighting the value of African American women as small business owners…

Women 2.0: National Program for Women in Business and Tech Announces Second Round of Applications
 “Access Latina, a business acceleration platform for Latina-owned firms headquartered in Florida, New York, Massachusetts, Texas, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, launched its second cohort to compete for a chance…

BizWomen: The good news for female entrepreneurs
 “Data from the Kauffman Foundation's analysis of the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs and the Survey of Business Owners reveals that revenues of women-owned firms increased by nearly 9 percent between 2014 and 2016.”

Credit Union Times: Small Business' Best Ally: Credit Unions
 “After being turned down by banks, Hager heard about a new program being offered by Tennessee Valley called “Idea Leap,” in which the credit union lends $2,500 to $50,000 to new or early-stage businesses…

NFIB: How the Overtime Rule Will Impact Tennessee Small Business Owners
 “If the Department of Labor’s updated overtime rule goes into effect on Dec. 1, NFIB estimates that 44 percent of small businesses across the country will be harmed. The rule doubles the overtime threshold, making all salaried

Nashville Hispanic Chamber: LGBT Chamber, Hispanic Chamber sign Cooperative
Inter-Chamber Agreement To Increase Minority Business Certification, Financial Literacy and Civic Engagement
…The NAHCC and the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce …will provide business owners from both…

BizWomen: BY THE NUMBERS: How women are funding their business
 “A new survey of women who own small businesses reveals that more than half are using personal savings to fund their business.”

PBS NewsHour: For African-American female entrepreneurs, funding challenges call for creative bootstrapping   …A new report finds a small uptick this year, including in the U.S. …it turns out African-American women control about 1.3 million businesses, and they are the country’s fastest growing group of entrepreneurs.

The National Women’s Business Council Celebrates Women’s Small Business Month
In the last several decades, women have made undeniable progress in starting and growing their own businesses. Every October, the National Women’s Business Council along with leaders in the women’s entrepreneurship…

Forbes: Here Is What Entrepreneurs Really Look Like
…“There are a tremendous number of women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color who are unrecognized, unfunded, and under-leveraged. This is not just an equity issue. This is an exciting business and innovation…
The Tennessean: White House welcomes Nashville entrepreneur Marcus Whitney
Nashville entrepreneur and Jumpstart Foundry President Marcus Whitney visited the White House on Monday as part of the South by South Lawn festival.

Memphis Business Journal: Mayor unveils four ways the city will improve minority business
Memphis City Mayor Jim Strickland rolled out four initiatives and partnerships that represent the next step in his plan to improve support for minority and women-owned businesses.