Last month Inc. Magazine sought the best U.S. city for women entrepreneurs. The winner, Washington, D.C., where entrepreneurship has a very positive connotation, significant opportunities for government contracting exists, and networking and mentoring is a way of life.
Arguably, Nashville has each of those in spades. So, it’s not hard to imagine that Nashville, and the entire Middle Tennessee region, could achieve the same success for women entrepreneurs as has been gained in D.C. Here’s why:
- Our Entrepreneurial Spirit: Middle Tennessee’s economy is on the move and is pulsating with creative energy. Everywhere you look social entrepreneurs, tech innovators, entertainers, artists, and passionate individuals are taking advantage of the growing economy and starting something new. The value of this entrepreneurial spirit is in the motion they create within the city as a whole. These valuable opportunities multiply, and generate impacts on a much wider scale.
- State & Federal Government Contracting: Both Nashville & Clarksville have positive environments in government contracting with local, state, and federal agencies. Due to the existence of various certifications for small businesses, women-owned businesses, and historically disadvantaged, 8(a) businesses it is a benefit to be a majority (51%) women-owned business. Obtaining the right certification can be a jumpstart to your business and compete on bid packages.
- Strong Networks For Women Entrepreneurs: Like D.C., Middle Tennessee is brimming with networking groups for entrepreneurs and for women entrepreneurs. The U.S. Small Business Administration supports several of these – such as the Pathway Women’s Business Center, SCORE offices, and the Tennessee Small Business Development Centers. Many other groups exist, including CABLE, the Southern Automotive Women’s Forum, Jumpstart Foundry, The EC, and Launch TN – all of which provide valuable services to our entrepreneurial community. Pick two groups or three groups, and get involved, get on a committee, and get to know and trust the people you’re working with.
Back to the Inc. magazine article and their measure of success – women in leadership of companies on the Inc. 5000. That’s where D.C. has Middle Tennessee beat. The question is how do Nashville and Middle Tennessee take the top spot from D.C. and its Metro-area? Looking into any of the three topics highlighted above is a good first step – and lucky for you – the Pathway Women’s Business Center is a great place to start (or continue) your entrepreneurial journey.
Take a look at our upcoming calendar of events, or just give us a call to get involved with our programming. Together, we can create the best U.S. city for Women Entrepreneurs.