Writer: Ryan Gandolfo
2 min read August 2022 — Entrepreneurship and Nashville go hand in hand. The city’s entrepreneurial companies make up nearly a quarter of the city’s economy, according to the Nashville Entrepreneur Center.
In 2022, Nashville opens in a new windowranks as the second best city to start a business in the U.S., as cited by online insurance tech company Policy Genius. While the high honors are a tribute to the strong workforce and business survival rate, it also showcases the creative minds within Music City.
“When we talk about creators, it’s those who are creating music, which is a meaningful economic driver to our community. Healthcare is also an important industry. Folks don’t think about entrepreneurship as a creative process, but we do. We feel like most people are creative and creators. We consider our work collaborating with those who are creating things and as a bank, we put them in touch with bankers who understand their industries and businesses intimately,” Studio Bank Chief Relationship Officer Harry Allen opens in a new windowsaid in a recent Invest:Insights interview.
The Nashville-based lender has identified startup, tech and entrepreneurship communities as a key banking component.
“The rate of change is faster than any of us has ever seen, so I think that being resilient as an organization is critical for success, and creativity helps you respond to an increasing rate of change. Breaking down silos within organizations, open communication and fostering a culture of leadership from whatever seat an employee sits in and inviting ideas from your employees about how you can improve the organization is critical,” said Allen.
Nashville is home to a well-established higher education network, which develops critical thinkers across state colleges and the top private universities. Belmont University President Greg Jones is one of many advocates for entrepreneurship in the region.
“Beyond the arts, another important area for Belmont is entrepreneurship and cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset all across our campus. The person for whom our College of Business is named, Jack C. Massey, was the first person to take three companies public on the New York Stock Exchange. He was a co-founder of HCA Healthcare, one of our College of Medicine’s major clinical affiliates. One of the other co-founders of HCA, and another example of the importance of an entrepreneurial mindset, is the leader for whom our College of Medicine is named, Dr. Thomas F. Frist Jr.,” said Jones. “We have an incredible sense of momentum with entrepreneurship and continuing to demonstrate and build that mindset going forward.”
There is also a shared acknowledgement amongst community leaders that the true driving force behind entrepreneurship in Nashville is the city’s welcoming spirit.
“The entrepreneurial vibe of Nashville is unique. The business community supports the entrepreneurial community; they look at us as a valuable partner. We’re successful entrepreneurs because people helped us when we were starting, and now it’s our responsibility to help other entrepreneurs as they get started. This energy permeates through the city and will continue to do so as we navigate the explosive growth we’re experiencing,” Nashville Entrepreneur Center CEO Jane Allen told Invest:.
The center’s programs cover a variety of entrepreneurial efforts from music and healthcare to establishing greater equity among stakeholders. Most importantly, it creates a space for businesses to grow.
“We’re known as the Volunteer State and that is a direct reflection of our message,” said Ms. Allen.