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Business Enterprise Resource Office

  • BERO
  • Minorities
  • Women
  • Veterans
  • Rural
  • Youth
  • Grants
  • Other
BERO

The Office of Business Enterprise, otherwise known and referred to as the Business Enterprise Resource Office (BERO), was created in the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) by Chapter 135 of the Public Acts of 1977, codified as Section §4-26-101 et seq.


BERO serves as a voice for and advocate of disadvantaged businesses (DBE) statewide. For the purposes of BERO, DBE refers to businesses owned by women, minorities and veterans. It also refers to businesses operating in remote or rural areas of the state. BERO is also tasked to analyze, disseminate and promote best practices and access to capital to service providers as well as report on the status of DBEs across in the state.

BERO Resources

Small Business and Startup Guide (PDF) – a small business and startup guide, financing snapshot


Rural Small Business and Entrepreneurship Loan Fund – $500 - $20,000 loans for rural businesses

 

BERO annual reports - Recent quarterly newsletters -
Minority Business Enterprises

“The economy of the U.S. minority population is greater than the economies of the United Kingdom ($2.1 trillion), Russia ($2.1 trillion) and France ($2.1 trillion).” US Fact Sheet, MBDA


“Immigrants start more than 25 percent of all businesses in seven of the eight sectors of the economy that the U.S. government expects to grow fastest over the next decade.” The Partnership for a New American Economy, 8/2012

Policy and Procurement

  • Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)- promotes the growth and global competitiveness of businesses owned and operated by members of the minority and Diaspora communities
  • Tennessee Minority Supplier Development Council (TMSDC) - works to build business partnerships between minority businesses (suppliers) and major corporations (purchasers); certifying agency; member-based, non-profit
  • SBA 8(a) - helps small, disadvantaged businesses compete in the marketplace

 

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Women Business Enterprises

“Over the last 15 years the number of women-owned businesses has grown by 56%, “[and] currently the number of women-owned firms is growing at 1½ times the national average.” American Express OPEN, 4/2013

Policy and Procurement

 

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Veteran and Service-Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises

On a national level, according to U.S. Census Data, about 9 percent of firms are veteran-owned and according to SBA’s Office of Veteran Business Development, the nation’s 2.45 million veteran-owned businesses employ nearly 6 million individuals.

Policy and Procurement

 

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Rural Businesses

“The burgeoning interest in entrepreneurial careers combined with the desire to “come home” create significant opportunities for rural leaders to begin to reverse historic outmigration trends and revitalize their communities.” Energizing Young Entrepreneurs in Rural Communities, RUPRI

Policy and Financing

 

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Youth Entrepreneurship

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) estimates that of the entrepreneurs engaged in starting and running new businesses, 165 million early-stage entrepreneurs are young entrepreneurs (age 18 to 25).
GEM 2011 Global Report

Programs and Opportunities

  • DECA - prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in high schools and colleges worldwide
  • Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) - bring business and education together
  • Global Entrepreneurship Week - the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups
  • Junior Achievement (JA) - K-12th grade programs foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills
  • Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) - provides programs that inspire young people from low-income communities to stay in school, to recognize business opportunities
  • Scouts - Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts offer various opportunities in entrepreneurship and mentoring
  • Virtual Enterprise - an in-school entrepreneurship program and global business simulation
  • Young Entrepreneurs - current articles, blogs and other media for teens and young entrepreneurs

 

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Grants

General Information:

When it comes to grants, while it is true that there are a number of federal grants available to assist small business, women-owned and minority-owned businesses, very few of them actually go to individual business owners. Most federal grants are awarded to non-profits, governmental entities or educational institutions to provide services and/or loans to these targeted groups. The state of Tennessee bases its incentives on job creation and investment within qualified industry sectors, which include manufacturing, warehouse and distribution facilities, data centers, headquarters and call centers. In order to qualify for state incentives, a company must create 25 qualified jobs over a three-year period and meet a capital investment of at least $500,000. These incentives are provided to qualified companies in the form of tax credits and/or job training reimbursement programs. Most small businesses do not meet the requirements for these types of programs and turn to loans or self-financing as a more viable alternative for financing (see page 26).

For the most part, the grants that go to small business owners generally fall in three areas: value-added agriculture, technology development and commercialization, and vocational rehabilitation (self-employment match grants).

To search for available grants go to www.grants.gov, which is a federal database of grants.

 

 

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Other (mainly for service providers, helpful to businesses)

Policy and Programs

 

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DBE in the News