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EXPANDING ACCESS AND OPPORTUNITY

About the Initiative

The U. S. Department of Commerce through the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) has funded a rural initiative in several communities across the country. Tennessee is considered a rural state which positioned the Tennessee MBDA Business Center to receive a one-year grant to provide business services and technical assistance to surrounding rural communities including Haywood, Tipton, Hardeman, and Fayette counties.

Businesses at various stages in the business life cycle are eligible for services that support: digital literacy skills, financial capital readiness, and business development to support job creation. A Business Development Specialist (BDS) will provide one-on-one consulting, seminars, webinars, and access to technical assistance.

The Tennessee MBDA Business Center will support rural businesses with business development and capacity building through a five-step approach:

  1. Business Assessment & Consulting
  2. Tailored Training & Development Programs
  3. Strategic Plans
  4. New Sourcing Opportunities
  5. Access to Capital & Other Capacity Building Resources

Throughout the life of the grant, satellite offices have been established in Boliver, TN and Brownsville, TN to support the four-county footprint.

Complete the intake form and someone will be in touch with you to perform an assessment to develop a customized and tailored approach to support your business formation or business growth.

For more information about the Rural Initiative or satellite office hours please contact Cedric Hamilton, Director of Business Development, at (901) 528-1432.

A Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) under the MBDA Act is a business enterprise owned and controlled by at least one socially or economically disadvantaged individual. 15 U.S.C. § 9501(9). A socially disadvantaged individual is an individual who has been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias because of the identity of the individual as a member of a group, without regard to any individual quality of the individual that is unrelated to that identity. 15 U.S.C. § 9501(15). An economically disadvantaged individual is an individual whose ability to compete in the free enterprise system has been impaired due to diminished capital and credit opportunities, as compared to others in the same line of business and competitive market areas, because of the identity of the individual as a member of a group, without regard to any individual quality of the individual that is unrelated to that identity. 15 U.S.C. § 9501(15). An individual that identifies as a member of one or more of the following groups is presumed to be socially or economically disadvantaged: Black or African American; Hispanic or Latino; American Indian or Alaska Native; Asian (including South Asian); Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander; and Hasidic Jews. 15 U.S.C. § 9501(15). An individual does not need to identify as a member of one of these groups to be a socially or economically disadvantaged individual eligible to receive Business Center services under the MBDA Act.