Epicenter and Pathway Lending have recently launched the Memphis Small Business Opportunity Loan Fund, a $15 million fund that intends to help improve Memphis area businesses, specifically minority and women owned companies, gain access to capital.  The fund will act to as an alternative lending source to small firms that do not qualify for conventional funding with loans ranging “from $5,000 to $1,000,000 to support growth opportunities.”

Initial capitalization is supported by Pinnacle Financial Partners, First Tennessee, and Regions Bank and is part of “a renewed effort to pump up minority- and women-owned businesses in Memphis. Last month, Mayor Jim Strickland announced the 800 Initiative, a program aimed at closing the disparity gap between white- and black-owned businesses in Memphis.”

Memphis has seen a rise in its support of small businesses since 2016 with the state being named as one of the top cities for minorities to start a business.