Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, May 7, 2021

Program aims to help minority entrepreneurs

With support from JPMorgan Chase, the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga, LAUNCH and Pathway Lending are working together to strengthen the small business ecosystem for minority entrepreneurs in Chattanooga.

JPMorgan Chase recently committed $150,000 to the Urban League, which will allow it to expand its NextLevel entrepreneurship training program.

NextLevel combines management support with access to market opportunities and capital to drive sustainable growth at minority-owned businesses.

In April, NextLevel welcomed more than two dozen local entrepreneurs with existing businesses to virtual classroom sessions focused on business assessment, financial planning, marketing, sales and securing resources.

After graduating from the program in June, the Urban League will monitor alumni progress and extend additional support where needed.

JPMorgan Chase’s commitment will also allow the Urban League to leverage Pathway Lending as participants look for the capital necessary to scale their businesses.

Pathway Lending develops loans aimed at addressing opportunity shortfalls for minority entrepreneurs and small-business owners.

JPMorgan Chase is contributing $200,000 to Pathway Lending to increase its presence in Chattanooga and its ability to develop loan products for new and growing businesses.

LAUNCH has taken its financial coaching and technical assistance classes online in response to COVID-19. JPMorgan Chase is committing $50,000 to help LAUNCH reach more women and minority small businesses owners through their classes for startups.

This support will also help LAUNCH expand its commercial kitchen incubator, which is providing space for local culinary entrepreneurs to find new ways to grow their businesses.

Source: JPMorgan Chase