The newly named director of the Upper Cumberland business accelerator, UC Success Now, will address the region’s entrepreneurial partners on Friday as the program launches its efforts to boost small business growth in the region.
Crossville business owner Jeff Brown, director of UC Success Now, will manage the accelerator’s resources to help small businesses meet two goals: step up business growth funding and create jobs.
“I am truly excited to be a part of UC Success Now. For most of my career I have pushed for help for existing small businesses. Now I have the opportunity to lead the organization that provides that help in our 14-county region,” Brown said. “Roughly 86 percent of all new jobs are created by existing businesses. We need that job growth as soon as possible.”
In support of the governor’s commitment to business and job growth, the Tennessee Department of Economic Development has established nine accelerators statewide to aid small business and job growth efforts in defined geographical regions.
UC Success Now recently received $250,000 in grant funds from the Jobs4TN program to support viable businesses in the 14-county Upper Cumberland region that are capable of rapid growth and job creation, but need to develop different aspects of their business or raise capital in order to grow rapidly.
UC Success Now is a partnership between Roane State Community College, Tennessee Tech University, Launch Tennessee, Startup TN, Tennessee Small Business Development Centers, and local chambers of commerce, governing bodies, bankers, investors and others committed to seeing job growth and greater access to capital for small businesses.
The partners will offer a combination of education, consulting, mentoring and guidance to businesses throughout the Upper Cumberland. The accelerator will have offices in Crossville at the Cumberland Business Incubator on Roane State’s Cumberland County campus and at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville.
“My entrepreneurial, governmental and economic development experience bring a view to the program that I think small businesses will appreciate. I have been in their shoes,” Brown said.
A longtime advocate of small businesses and an entrepreneur himself, Brown will offer a broad range of sales, management, leadership and planning expertise to entrepreneurs in the Upper Cumberland.
Brown has served as president of the Crossville Association of Realtors, director of the Knoxville Association of Realtors, president of Crossville Rotary and director for the Crossville Housing Authority. He has served at the chamber of commerce and he is a Cumberland County commissioner.
Brown has a bachelor’s degree in geology from Tennessee Tech, with a minor in business and finance. A resident of Crossville, he has various real estate and insurance certifications and is a founder of Prudential Southern Realty and Gold Service Insurance.
Friday’s activities will begin at 9 a.m. at the Cumberland Business Incubator, 2567 Cook Road. Participants will present examples of recent regional successes and learn more about UC Success Now resources.
Among the scheduled presenters are Ron Woody, county executive of Roane County; Mike Gannon, county executive of Cannon County; Ken Hall, director of the Monterey Depot; Billy Kaufman, owner of Short Mountain Distillery; and representatives of chambers of commerce in Campbell, Cumberland, Clay, Pickett and Jackson counties.
For more information, call (931) 210-5105 or visit www.UCSuccessNow.com.