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Minority Enterprise Growth and Needs Study Public Investment Plan (2017)


Zak Kelley

Project Description

Nashville is a vibrant, growing city. Progress is apparent as evidenced by the advent of our best new reality show—Crane Watch—an interactive live-camera that showcases all the construction projects across the city.

We are a diverse metropolis: 30 percent African American, 10 percent Latino, 12 percent foreign-born. From 2000 to 2012, immigrants accounted for 60 percent of our population growth & 30 percent of our new small businesses.

This is great news for Nashville, but there is still work to be done to make sure everyone shares in the prosperity.

Of the 61,000 business firms identified by the US Census in Nashville, only 11,000 are minority business enterprises (MBEs). This means that while minorities comprise 40 percent of our population, they own less than six-percent of businesses in the city.

These statistics, combined with anecdotal analysis of development along Nolensville Pike, Jefferson Street & the broader North Nashville community, show a growing disparity in Nashville’s business community.

Furthermore, we have a number of studies describing the disparity, but no comprehensive data set or field study identifying the root causes or practical solutions to the problem.

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