Welcome Innovators

Starting a business can be confusing and tedious if you don’t have the right contacts and information to help you. Our “Start a Business” section is here to guide you through each step from evaluating if you have the time and will to actually create a successful business to networking with peers once you’re up and running. The section also includes business plan templates and information on business structures, funding and marketing and other entrepreneurship resources.


Continue Your Education

Higher Education

Achieve the educational attainment that you’re seeking. Click here for a full list of higher education institutions in the Middle Tennessee region.

Educational opportunities

Center for Entrepreneurship at Belmont
The Center for Entrepreneurship is designed to prepare those students who believe that they will want to pursue an entrepreneurial career. Named as one of the Top 10 schools in the nation with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship by Entrepreneur Magazine and one of the Top 25 Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Programs in the country by the Princeton Review.

Middle Tennessee State University
The Entrepreneurship Program at MTSU integrates professional areas from throughout the Jennings A. Jones College of Business. Areas of study include communications, marketing, management, economics, finance, accounting, information systems, and research.

Small Business Learning Center
The learning center is a redesigned, online learning portal for small business entrepreneurs.  It has a streamlined, searchable catalog of small business educational resources including self-paced courses, videos, and web sessions.  The resources may be sorted by topic, making it easier to quickly locate helpful information.  For instance, if users want to take a course on how to write a business plan, the learning center is a one-stop destination to find the course as well as other supporting content.  The Learning Center is hosted through the SBA.

Helpful Organizations and Online Resources

Click here for a list of local, county, and state government contacts.

Free Business Spreadsheets – Free downloadable Excel spreadsheets for analyzing, estimating, valuing and projecting any and everything you need to start and operate your business. Provided by Matt Evans, Creative Value through Excellence in Financial Management.

Launch Tennessee  – Launch Tennessee provides startup resources to entrepreneurs, including capital sources, mentorship, accelerators, entrepreneurship training and more. Launch Tennessee is a public-private partnership that supports entrepreneurs from ideation to exit. We’re guided by a vision of making Tennessee the most startup-friendly state in the nation so that entrepreneurs stay here to build companies and create jobs. Tennessee is one of the only states with an entrepreneur-resource infrastructure operating at the state level. Through this network of Entrepreneur Centers, in six regions around the state, we deliver curriculum, mentors and more to entrepreneurs building high-growth-potential businesses.

Tennessee Small Business Development Centers – The Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) offers free assistance to help business owners grow and develop successful, thriving businesses. They have 12 full-service centers and 2 satellite offices across the state of Tennessee.

Small Business Administration Business Guide – The Small Business Planner includes information and resources that will help you at any stage of the business lifecycle.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) – With the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, the SBA ensures that the nation’s small, high-tech, innovative businesses are a significant part of the federal government’s research and development efforts.

The Kauffman Foundation – The Kauffman Foundation is often referred to as one of the largest foundations in the United States and as the world’s largest foundation devoted to entrepreneurship.

Small Business Television (small business advice) – Provides videos with subjects of interest to small businesses and entrepreneurs.

The Entrepreneurial Mind – This blog is written by Dr. Jeff Cornwall of Belmont University discussing all things entrepreneurial. Subjects include advertising, public policy, accounting, investing, bootstrapping, job creation and much more.

Entrepreneur.com – A site for the business entrepreneur which shares business ideas, franchise options and opportunities, tools and services, and information on blogs. There is also a section to ask questions.

Inc.com – A daily resource guide for entrepreneurs with success stories, blogs, and helpful articles.

Expertise.com – We find the top local business in each US city to help our readers hire the best. Unlike most other websites and directories, a business can’t pay to be included on Expertise. This gives our users the confidence to find and connect with exceptional businesses that are objectively qualified and authentically well-reviewed.

Zen Business has a section for female entrepreneurs that includes business plans, finance, and even some history of women in business.

5 Steps to Master Small Business Social Media

Opportunities for Youth

Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education – This webpage is for teachers, instructors, youth leaders, program developers and others who help students of all ages find their own entrepreneurial opportunities.

FFA Agri-Entrepreneurship Program – The Agri-Entrepreneurship Education Program is designed to increase the amount of entrepreneurship being taught in local agriculture programs across the country.

Junior Achievement – JA Worldwide is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs.

National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship – Through entrepreneurship education, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) helps young people from low-income communities build skills and unlock their entrepreneurial creativity.

Youth Venture – Youth Venture helps teams of people start new youth-led organizations.