Opportunity to Prosper

Entrepreneurship

Every individual in America who possesses entrepreneurial vision, ingenuity, drive and desire should have access to resources needed to establish and grow a viable business.

The Urban League helps to bring businesses and jobs to areas where poverty is an everyday reality and people have been profoundly affected by long-term unemployment. The loans and technical assistance are strategic investments that will build strong economic ecosystems, which will support entrepreneurship and business growth in economically disadvantaged communities.

Programs:
  • Empowerment Opportunity Loan Program: The Knoxville Area Urban League is a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI); we provide loans from $5,000-$250,000 to qualified entrepreneurs to start and/or expand businesses in Knox County that will provide jobs, goods and services that meet the needs of the community.
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  • As a Community Development and Financial Institution (CDFI), our lending programs and technical assistance are strategic investments that will build strong economic ecosystems, which, in turn, will support entrepreneurship and business growth in economically disadvantaged areas.

  • The CO.STARTERS program walks creative small business owners through lean, effective business modeling methods in simple and intuitive ways. Rather than treating a start-up business like a large corporation and writing a lengthy business plan, CO.STARTERS participants are encouraged to build and test small models. Participants receive real-time customer feedback, update the models to meet customer needs and avoid creating businesses based on incorrect assumptions.

  • Economic and Business development programs are funded in part by:
    • U.S. Department of the Treasury – CDFI Fund
    • Pinnacle Bank
    • SunTrust Foundation
    • City of Knoxville
    • Tennessee Valley Authority

    For additional information, contact:
    Felix Harris at 865-524-5511, ext. 209 (fharris@thekaul.org)
    or Terrence Carter at 865-524-5511, ext. 205 (tcarter@thekaul.org).