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LiftTN: Microenterprise

LiftTN: Microenterprise is no longer open for application as a standalone program. It has become part of the TN Placemakers Entrepreneurship Fund. To apply to provide education, resources and tools to underserved and underrepresented microenterprises in urban core areas of learn more here.    

We know that “education, resources and tools” is very general. We also know that here are incredible programs, activities and opportunities that are currently moving the needle for businesses in communities across the state and beyond. Maybe one of these programs or activities is happening in your community that needs to expand, or maybe there is one in somewhere else you think would fill a gap in your community.

Here are how two grantees used their LiftTN funds to meet the needs of entrepreneurs and small businesses:

Statewide project: IWW, a virtual incubator, enabled businesses across the state to access key resources, such as writing and submitting bids or RFPs/RFIs for government contracts, bookkeeping and accounting practices that meet requirements, etc.

West TN project:  altShop, a pop-up shop program, enabled retailers and food service businesses to learn the ins and outs of running a brick and mortar business with a specific focus on construction and manufacturing industries.

How much can you apply for?
This is a competitive grant. The total available to grant is $200,000.00.


Who can apply for funding?
Existing nonprofits, local governments and educational institutions registered and in good standing in the state of Tennessee

Which areas are eligible for Urban Core Edition?
All entitlement communities in Tennessee.

Entitlement communities include: Shelby County and Memphis, Jackson, Clarksville, Davidson County, Murfreesboro, Oak Ridge, Knox
County and Knoxville, Chattanooga, Cleveland, Morristown, Kingsport, Bristol, Franklin, Hendersonville, and Johnson City.

What is the contract period for the Urban Core Edition?
The contract period is 24 months; the execution of the project is to take place in months 1-18 with reporting/observation from months 19-24.

The not so fine, fine print: 

  • The grant application must be submitted and administered by the sponsoring nonprofit organization, local government or educational entity.
  • Partnerships, collaborative work and leveraging funds are encouraged!
  • LiftTN is a reimbursable grant program. That means you spend the money as agreed upon for eligible activities; submit respective receipts and other documentations then we reimburse you.
  • Organizations participating in LiftTN will be required to submit proper documentation of all grant expenditures. Failure to follow specified uses or accounting requirements may result in loss of program participation and/or dollars.
  • All expenditures must take place within the timeframe of the grant period as designated by the grant contract.

Grantees are required to complete quarterly and final reports. Please select the button below to complete the report.