Best Small Business Resources in the Memphis Area

Small map with pin depicting Memphis, TN

Starting a business is a life-changing experience. Tennessee has dozens of great resources to help entrepreneurs get started. Our team researched and vetted organizations in the Memphis area and compiled our list of recommended resources in this article.

You can also read our guide to starting a business in Tennessee.

Resources Available in your Area

Southwest Tennessee Community College SBDC

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Financial

Offers Free Service

Description

The greatest strength of the SBDC is their free, confidential, 1-on-1 business mentoring for anyone who seeks it. Sometimes in order to be considered for mentoring from one of their professional business advisors, you may have to attend a class/workshop or at least present your business plan. SBDC's are located all throughout the state and you should use the SBDC closest to your location if possible, but you can often transfer to a different location if they do not fit your needs.


CO.STARTERS Memphis

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Networking

Description

CO.STARTERS is a paid 9-week program that runs at set times throughout the year. It is designed to take an entrepreneur from the idea stage, all the way through the planning and into the formation stages of starting their business. Special to the Memphis branch is the fact that it has 3 different programs in the city: CO.STARTERS in Germantown, a program specifically for food and drink based businesses; CO.STARTERS in the Kaleidoscope Kitchen, and CO.STARTERS @ MCUTS; where first priority goes to MCUTS students. Contact for these programs is done through the Epicenter, which is an overseeing organization for the region's many local resources. 

Restrictions

The CO.STARTERS program runs at specific times throughout the year and requires preregistration.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

902 S. Cooper St.
Memphis, TN 38104
901-500-6368
info@vibrantmemphis.org


Emerge

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Coworking
  • Networking

Description

Emerge helps entrepreneurs by providing mentorship, assistance with developing a business plan, and a vibrant and affordable coworking space. It will be best for service- or internet-based businesses and is unique in its downtown location. Entrepreneurs are also able to receive business advice from the competent staff who work at Emerge.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

516 Tennessee St.
Memphis, TN 38103
901-312-7700
info@emergememphis.org


Epicenter

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Coworking
  • Networking

Description

The Epicenter of Memphis is an organization that hosts its own coworking space in Germantown that entrepreneurs may lease to collaborate with others when starting their small business. It also acts as a network of other small business assistance organizations, including a whole host of accelerators, incubators, and more. It will be most useful for entrepreneurs who would like to be personally connected to the other organizations in the Memphis area.

Restrictions

Individual programs may have specific, distinct restrictions.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

902 S. Cooper St.
Memphis, TN 38104
901-500-6368
info@vibrantmemphis.org


Memphis Public Library

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Business Planning
  • Financial
  • Research
  • Sales & Marketing

Description

The Memphis Public library assists entrepreneurs with access to a plethora of databases useful for market and demographic research, classes on a regular schedule, and many online resources. Most useful for entrepreneurs who are rather inexperienced, the Memphis Public Library is a standout among many of the public library systems throughout the country.

Restrictions

Must have a library card to use some of the databases.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

3030 Poplar Ave.
Memphis, TN 38111
901-415-2734

HOURS OF OPERATION:

MON - THU: 9 am - 9 pm

FRI - SAT: 9 am - 6 pm

SUN: 1 pm -  5 pm

 


Memphis SCORE

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Networking

Offers Free Service

Description

SCORE (Service Corp of Retired Executives) is a leading, nation-wide organization that has assisted millions of entrepreneurs over its 50+ years of operation. SCORE is a resource partner of the SBA that offers access to a network of experienced business leaders who donate time to mentor entrepreneurs and small business owners. They also host free or inexpensive workshops online and at 300 local chapters around the United States. Mentoring can be conducted either in person or remotely and is always free and confidential, no matter how often you take advantage of this service.


Start Co.

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Fundraising
  • Product Development

Description

Start Co. helps entrepreneurs in the technology industry through powerful accelerator programs. That means that they provide seed funding, mentorship, comprehensive business planning assistance, sales and marketing help from expert PR/Marketing agents, a ton of perks from the companies who invest and partner with them, and so much more.

Restrictions

Must be a technology-oriented company, and the accelerator programs will have more specific restrictions, such as the type of technology used or the need of at least one female executive.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

88 Union Ave., 2nd Floor
Memphis, TN 38103
901-213-7795
info@neverstop.co