Loans to 17 businesses owned by black women

By Melanie Layden

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Nashville, Tennessee (WSMV) – Seventeen black women who own businesses were granted loans Thursday to help their businesses grow during this challenging time.

Corner to Corner in Nashville launched the Academy Invested pilot initiative, which provided up to $ 1,000 in loans to eligible companies. They said lack of access to capital is a huge challenge, especially for new businesses owned by black women in Nashville.

“Since we started the Academy, our 10-week entrepreneurship program, we’ve helped over 434 black entrepreneurs,” said Shana Berkeley. “Our success ranges from side business to full-blown entrepreneurship.”

More than $ 10,000 has been spent helping local business owners like Netiya Owens who owns the Royal Massage and Yoga Lounge in Murfreesboro. Their studio is the only black-owned yoga studio in the Nashville area. Owens said the loan will help her with publicity and marketing.

“As a new business owner, I’ve used up a lot of my revenue with the pandemic and everything else to keep up with everything that’s going on with the pandemic,” Owens said.

Corner to Corner doesn’t just help minority women, however.

Over the years they have helped all sorts of people achieve their dreams and grow their business, as has Marcus Buggs, the owner of Coneheads.

“It was really good for me to make those connections and just be known for what I was doing,” said Buggs. “I stopped counting how many Corner to Corner events got me doing events that grew into a recurring business that grew into our restaurant here.”

The loans that were made Thursday had a small 1% interest rate for local entrepreneurs who have completed Corner to Corner’s program.

Since it was founded in 2016, the academy has trained over 400 entrepreneurs, 88% of whom are black women.

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About Natalee Broderick

Natalee Broderick

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