100Knoxville initiative launching January 20 to help grow revenues at Black-owned businesses

As mentioned in yesterday’s feature article about the Techstars town hall, the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center is helping organize a new initiative focused on accelerating entrepreneurial success in one of the city’s underrepresented population groups.

The 100Knoxville program, as it is known, has set a goal of growing the revenue of Black-owned businesses in Knoxville by $10 million in five years. It is patterned along the lines of The 800 Initiative in Memphis that has a stated goal of growing revenues for Black-owned businesses in that much larger city by $50 million over five years.

As conceived, the 5x5x5x5 program will select five Black entrepreneurs to receive $5,000 plus five weeks of mentorship aimed at improving operations and increasing sales.

“Black-owned businesses are essential for increasing wealth and jobs in Knoxville,” the organizers state on their website. “We’re going to start with a cohort of Black-owned firms that have employees. Our goal is to help double their revenue through investment of time and talent, and access to social, political, and financial capital.”

The 60-minute kickoff is set for 9 a.m. EST January 20 and, as currently planned, will feature: (1) Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland; (2) Joann Massey, Director of Compliance for the City of Memphis; (3) Brandon Bruce representing the 100Knoxville initiative; (4) Nadim Jubran, Chair of the Entrepreneurship/Small Business Council at the Knoxville Chamber; and (5) Memphis-based entrepreneurs.

To register, click here.

Stay connected with us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Article ideas and other suggestions should be sent to Include the name and contact information (phone and email) for follow-up.