University of Memphis


Memphis, TN


Build to Scale Program

Capital Challenge


Project Name

Black Wealth Advancement through New Business and Knowledge Development (BANK)


Award Amount

Federal Share

Local Match




In collaboration with Community LIFT and the Black Business Association of Memphis (BBA), the University of Memphis will launch the Black Wealth Advancement through New Business and Knowledge Development (BANK) project to facilitate equity investments in small technology-oriented businesses. Community LIFT is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and has a successful track record of raising investment funds for the Memphis region. BBA has a long history of providing education, advocacy, and business development resources for Memphis businesses. With the largest percentage of Black tech talent and female tech talent of any city in the United States, Memphis also has the largest percentage of Black-owned businesses of any city in the country. During the performance period, University of Memphis will coordinate this effort to increase the capacity of Community LIFT to raise capital and the BBA to use their business expertise and networks to assist Community LIFT with fundraising. This award will be used to hire additional staff responsible for raising equity-based capital funds and to hire a fund director and training coordinator to amplify and drive investment towards the region’s tech-based businesses with growth potential.