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Business Services Unit

Looking to start a business in or relocate a business to Memphis? Wanting to conduct business with the City or just learn how the process works? The goal of this section is to provide helpful answers to people who seek just such things. Please Contact Us with comments regarding how we can further enhance your experience here.

Competitive Bidder’s Prep Accelerator Program 

The Competitive Bidder’s Prep Accelerator is a nine (9) week course designed to identify and groom potential “willing, ready, and able” suppliers for the City of Memphis. Through this program, the City of Memphis is seeking to proactively invest in the community by offering solutions to long-standing barriers that exist for small businesses. This procurement accelerator will begin with covering the basics of procurement and carry on to how to be invited back to the job; share with vendors how they can leverage the City’s diversity programs; build relationships with purchasing representatives. In nine (9) weeks, this accelerator will package a wealth of resources, opportunities and exposure to help grow the pool of small, minority and women-owned businesses that will be able to compete as the ideal vendor for the City of Memphis.

In creating the concept of this accelerator, the Office of Business Diversity and Compliance took a moment to review the Disparity Study performed by Griffin & Strong to identify barriers small businesses faced when doing business with the City. Access to capital, obtaining bonds, bid preparation and procurement knowledge were just a few barriers mentioned in the study. The accelerator was created to package possible solutions through offering incentives and incorporating capacity-building components. Below are some built-in incentives through:

• Gaining access to the resources offered by the Entrepreneurs Network Center
• Navigation Training – City of Memphis Supplier System
• Business counseling, mentor-ship opportunities and more

This spring, we are looking to recruit and invest in companies with aspirations to actively bid as primes with the City of Memphis but are in need of guidance and technical support through this program.

Space will be limited; therefore, the participant must first qualify to participate:

• Must have been in business for 2 or more years
• Commit to nine classes between the hours of 9:00 AM-12:00 PM for nine weeks
• Engage and participate in each class
• Must be a City of Memphis active status certified vendor.
• Reciprocal certifications are accepted
• Capability statement

Special Instructions: Download the application at


Starting a Business

Starting a new business is a major task and knowing the correct steps to take gives your business a much better chance of success. Many things need to be taken into consideration when starting a business such as:

  • Identifying the reasons for wanting to go into business
  • Selecting the business that is right for you
  • Choosing the legal structure for your business
  • Choosing the location of your business
  • Listing the resources (equipment, supplies, and people) needed to operate this business
  • Finding out what business insurance will be needed
  • Developing a business plan
  • Analyzing the financial resources you have and what you will need
  • Finding out your tax obligations
  • Selecting how to promote your business


Zanderia Davidson

Business Services Team

Guadalupe Reyes

City of Memphis 
Entrepreneurs Network Center (ENC) 
480 Dr MLK Jr. Avenue
Memphis, TN 38126