“Chattanooga” and “entrepreneur” are both funny words, so maybe it makes sense that Chattanooga is a great place for entrepreneurship?
Okay fine, that’s silly logic, but did you know that Chattanooga seriously measures up when it comes to women-owned businesses, startup funding for those businesses, and inspiring entrepreneurship in girls?
Check it out: earlier this year, the Scenic City was ranked the second-best place in the country for a women-owned business by financial site WalletHub. Amazing! According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Chattanooga, which ranked tops in the support of female-owned businesses by the Small Business Administration and other incubators and near the top in overall business friendliness, trailed only Nashville as the best city for women businesses.
This is only a short list of the thriving businesses in Chattanooga owned by women, but we bet you’ll see a few of your favorites…
- Blue Skies
- Chatta Cakes Bakery
- Community Pie
- Galtere, Ltd.
- Good Dog
- Milk and Honey
- Mojo Burrito
- The MOMentum Network
- Taco Mamacita
- Urban Stack
There’s also this little thing in Chattanooga called the Jump Fund, which makes us want to do exactly that. (Jump for joy, that is.) It’s an all-female investment group dedicated to recognizing and nurturing all-female ventures – creating a more diverse business landscape in Chattanooga and the Southeast. Their goal is to expose and use the untapped market of potential entrepreneurs, which HELLO, make up 50% of the consumer base.
Start ’em young
Chattanooga is also home to the Girls Preparatory School, which held its second annual entrepreneurial summit: Mad, Bad and Dangerous.
“We know women are highly qualified to make it as entrepreneurs, yet they’re underrepresented in this arena,” said GPS Headmaster Dr. Autumn Adkins Graves, “Mad, Bad and Dangerous is designed to help women and girls see themselves as capable, confident and bold entrepreneurs in the making.”
Advice from the pros
This year’s event included a keynote from Lori Greiner of Shark Tank. She gave the girls practical and no-nonsense advice for business – and life.
- Roll with it. Be flexible and resourceful
- You influence others even if you don’t realize it. Someone is always watching how you react, and looking to you for an example
- Speak up. Get what you need. Ask your questions. Be assertive.
- Build relationships – really build them. Be real. Be intentional. Don’t ask anything of others that you wouldn’t do yourself.
The women are there, the resources are there, the early inspiration’s there – watch out world, Chattanooga’s coming for you.