Opportunity to Prosper


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.


  • Empowerment Opportunity Loan Program: The Knoxville Area Urban League provides 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.
    • 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:

    • Pinnacle Bank
    • SunTrust Foundation
    • City of Knoxville
    • Tennessee Valley Authority


    Discovering products or services from black-owned companies is not only easy, but you can also explore customer reviews, find new items locally, gain insights into the companies, and connect with like-minded customers who share your passion for supporting black-owned businesses!

    Learn More

    For additional information, call 865-524-5511 or email [email protected].