Agencies of the Knoxville Business Support Network will introduce a real-world project to students in the Integrated Business and Engineering Program. The following representatives will be speaking: Doug Minter, Director of Small Business Development for the Knoxville Chamber; Terrence Carter, Director of Economic & Business Development for the Knoxville Area Urban League; Jim Biggs, Executive Director for the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center; Marc Brashares, Chairman for Greater Knoxville SCORE Chapter; Bruce Hayes, Director of Knoxville Area Tennessee Small Business Development Center.
The Knoxville Chamber – The Knoxville Chamber was named the 2011 National Chamber of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. They were also awarded 5-star Accreditation by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2015 because of the unique and progressive programs they offer businesses in Knoxville, Knox County, and throughout the Innovation Valley. As the largest chamber of commerce in East Tennessee, they represent over 2,200 businesses of all sizes and at all stages of maturity. Whether they are helping existing businesses grow, recruiting new companies to the region, striving to establish a world-class workforce, or advocating for a business-friendly government, the Chamber is working to fulfill their mission of Driving Regional Economic Prosperity.
The Knoxville Area Urban League – As a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), the Knoxville Area Urban League seeks to provide loans from $5,000 to $250,000 to qualified entrepreneurs starting or expanding businesses in Knox County. KAUL is dedicated to promoting diversity, economic, and social equity for all citizens. KAUL also strives to award loans that will provide: jobs, goods, and services needed by the community. In 2012, KAUL earned the National Urban League Affiliate of the Year Award for their 5-star performance review.
Knoxville Entrepreneur Center – Knoxville Entrepreneur Center is a business accelerator located in Market Square that serves as the front door for entrepreneurs in our region, and a resource for anyone looking to start or grow a business here. By nurturing and supporting a culture of entrepreneurship, they are fostering innovation, creativity and job growth within our community. KEC offers programs, classes, events, and other opportunities to provide a collaborative environment.
Greater Knoxville SCORE Chapter– SCORE in a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. SCORE delivers services at no charge or at very low cost because of their partnership with U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SCORE has over 300 chapters that provide mentorships, free business tools, and host workshops.
Tennessee Small Business Development Center – The TSBDC is the technical assistance of the Small Business Administration in a cooperative agreement with the State of Tennessee. For over 30 years the TSBDC network has been empowering small business owners, entrepreneurs, and individuals with an idea to innovate and compete in the global marketplace. TSBDC provides support services in financial management, accounting, taxation, government contracting, acquisition/selling of businesses, loan proposals, entity formation, and education.