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January 07, 2021 | Tom Ballard

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.

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