National Small Business Workshop Coming to Memphis

By Andy Meek

A small-business-themed workshop tour presented in part by the New York Stock Exchange is stopping in Memphis next week.

The NYSE, small-business lender Accion and Yelp, which operates a business ratings and review website and app, earlier this summer joined forces to launch their “Small Business Connections Tour,” part of the organizations’ NYSE Big StartUp initiative.

The event is coming to Memphis Tuesday, Oct. 9, for an evening session at EmergeMemphis, the seventh stop on the nationwide tour.

Presenters who will be on hand to answer questions and offer personalized feedback include Darnell Holloway, Yelp’s manager of local business outreach. He’ll explain how entrepreneurs can use social media platforms like Yelp, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to engage customers and get a variety of uses out of online user-generated reviews.

Nathaniel Owen, regional market manager of Accion, will talk about how businesses can access capital and finance marketing costs with an Accion microloan. Accion has provided more than $2.6 million in loans in Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Tennessee since 2011.

Accion client Daniel Watson, of Visions Enterprise LLC, also will be present to describe how a $5,000 microloan affected his business. He’s the owner of a food product company who used the capital to buy inventory and add e-commerce capability to his website.

The New York Stock Exchange, business lender Accion and review website Yelp have joined forces to launch the “Small Business Connections Tour,” which will be in Memphis Oct. 9.

The NYSE Big StartUp is a job creation and business growth effort built around connecting small businesses with more established corporations. The “Small Business Connections Tour” – the first such small-business event from the NYSE Big StartUp – launched in June, when more than 150 small-business owners attended several workshops across Texas.

Attendees at previous events have tended to walk away with several new marketing techniques, according to the NYSE BigStartup, in addition to meeting other small-business leaders who could help them expand through new channels.

The idea behind the NYSE Big StartUp is that it helps promote the increased demand for goods and services that companies need while at the same time turning to Corporate America to help make that possible with the corporate world’s expertise and funding, where possible.

Launched in March, the NYSE Big StartUp program also integrates the Accion-NYSE Job Growth Fund. That program was started with a $1.5 million commitment by NYSE Euronext, which will provide small businesses and startups with capital and other needed support.

To register for the Memphis event, which takes places at EmergeMemphis’ Downtown facility at 516 Tennessee St. Oct. 9, register at yelpmemphis.eventbrite.com.