What is Fund Tennessee?

Over the next decade, Fund Tennessee will administer $117 million in federal funding to Tennessee small businesses and entrepreneurs as part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s SSBCI (State Small Business and Credit Initiative) program. Fund Tennessee is comprised of InvestTN, the equity component; LendTN, the debt program; and AssistTN, for technical assistance. We believe Tennessee is better when its business community – across all 95 counties – is empowered to grow, create jobs, and transform communities.

Whether your business seeks equity investments, lending or technical assistance, Fund Tennessee is here to provide equitable access to capital so your business can continue to succeed in The Volunteer State.

The program is made up of 3 parts



Access to borrowed funds to be paid back with interest to a lender.

With lending options available to people in all 95 Tennessee counties, LendTN will provide fair access to funds whether you need to purchase new equipment or secure that next commercial property. A total of $47 million will be distributed across Tennessee’s entrepreneur ecosystem over 10 years. 

Participant Lenders are Tennessee Community Development Financial Institutions, or CDFIs. CDFI lenders are certified by U.S. Treasury and are dedicated to supporting the growth of small businesses and entrepreneurs in under-resourced communities. 

Participant Lenders offer a range of financial products and services designed to help businesses access the capital they need to start and grow their businesses, create high-quality jobs and make a positive economic impact in Tennessee communities.

Learn more about LendTN


Access to funds in exchange for a percentage ownership in the business.

Led by Launch Tennessee’s capital team, InvestTN is a new collection of funds for early-stage startups and venture funds seeking to raise capital. InvestTN will provide Tennessee-based small businesses with a unique resource to grow and scale. 

A total of $70 million will be distributed across Tennessee’s entrepreneur ecosystem over 10 years. If you’re an early-stage startup looking to raise equity at the Pre-Seed, Seed, Series A, or B stages, you could receive an initial investment ranging from $25,000 to $3 million. And if you’re a venture capital fund interested in investing in early-stage startups, you may be eligible for $1 to $3 million in capital commitments for the initial closings of new funds raised.

Learn more about InvestTN


Access to non-monetary resources in the form of financial advisory, legal, and accounting assistance.

Securing funding for your business is just one piece of the puzzle. That’s why we are committed to helping to ensure you have the right information to make an informed decision regarding the Fund Tennessee funding options. AssistTN will help you on this journey from legal and accounting to fiscal advisory services. 

We’ve partnered with TSBDC (Tennessee Small Business Development Center) to offer comprehensive support to entrepreneurs seeking resources beyond LendTN and InvestTN. With their guidance, you’ll have access to the expertise and knowledge necessary to make informed decisions about your business’s trajectory.

Learn more about AssistTN


In Federal Funding


Targeted Equity Investments


of Fund to SEDIs


Private Match Required

Does my business qualify?

We believe access to equitable capital is the key to helping businesses succeed across The Volunteer State. Whether you need equity investments, lending, or technical assistance, Fund Tennessee is committed to providing businesses with the resources they need to thrive.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Fund Tennessee?

Fund Tennessee is Tennessee's federally funded SSBCI 2.0 program. Fund Tennessee is comprised of InvestTN, the equity component, LendTN, the debt program, and AssistTN, which encompasses the technical assistance components.

What is SSBCI?

The U.S. Department of Treasury is administering a second installment of the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI 2.0) as part of the American Jobs Plan. SSBCI 1.0 was passed in 2010 and ran from 2011 to 2017. For SSBCI 2.0, Treasury has allocated $10 billion to provide funding for (1) small business financing, and (2) technical assistance to help small and diverse businesses become capital ready. SSBCI funds are to address SEDI (socially and economically disadvantages individuals) and VSB (very small business) owned businesses.

Why does SEDI matter?

Each state, including Tennessee, received an initial SEDI allocation from the US Department of Treasury (Treasury). The State of Tennessee requires a minimum 58% of loaned dollars meet the SEDI-owned business definition.

What is a SEDI-owned and controlled business?

A portion of SSBCI capital will be invested into SEDI Owned and Controlled businesses, meaning at least 51 percent of the business is owned and controlled by SEDI individuals meeting one or more definitions from the following criteria:

  1. CDFI Investment Areas: Individuals whose residence and/or business address is located in CDFI investment areas, or the business will operate a future location in a CDFI investment area.
  2. Additional SEDI Definitions: Individuals who have had their access to credit on reasonable terms diminished as compared to others in comparable economic circumstances, due to their:
    • Membership of a group that has been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias within American society, such as Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons; Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons
    • Gender
    • Veteran status
    • Limited English proficiency
    • Disability
    • Long-term residence in an environment isolated from the mainstream of American society
    • Membership of a federally or state-recognized Indian Tribe
    • Long-term residence in a rural community
    • Residence in a U.S. territory
    • Residence in a community undergoing economic transitions (including communities impacted by the shift towards a net-zero economy or deindustrialization)
    • Membership of another underserved community, such as persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.

Find out if you qualify