Twende Accelerator Applications Open Across Tennessee with Revamped Programming to Include New Supplier Diversity Initiative

Twende, Nashville Entrepreneur Center’s statewide accelerator program, features a new supplier diversity initiative focusing on helping Black and Latine founders across Tennessee do business with corporations and government entities.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 25, 2022) –  The Nashville Entrepreneur Center (EC) today announced that Twende, its 9-month statewide accelerator program with world-class B2B curriculum, coaching, community, and supplier diversity connections launched by the EC specifically for entrepreneurs that identify as Black and Latine, has officially opened its 2023 cohort for applications. This year, the Twende Accelerator revamped its programming to include a new supplier diversity component that connects stakeholders and procurement leaders with diverse entrepreneurs across Tennessee. Enrollment for the Twende Accelerator is open from Nov. 25, 2022, through Dec. 30, 2022.

“There are more than 110,000 firms owned by Black & Brown founders across Tennessee. However, these businesses tend to start smaller and stay smaller (averaging only $19,800 annually) than their peer non-minority-owned firms,” said Brittany N. Cole, Chief Equity & Inclusion Officer of the EC. “We know that supplier diversity is critical for scaling Black and brown-owned businesses and advancing economic equity. Corporations and our federal and local government have pledged billions of dollars in annual spend to diverse businesses with initiatives to only increase this spending year over year. We want to ensure our Twende founders are prepared and positioned to land these five, six, and seven-figure deals.”

In 2019, Nashville Entrepreneur Center launched Twende, which translates to “let’s go” in Kiswahili, as a call to action for local entrepreneurs of color to join a program with coaching, curriculum, access to capital and community that meets their unique needs. In 2021, Twende received funding from the State of Tennessee to expand statewide. To date, the program includes entrepreneurs across 12 counties in industries such as tech, consumer goods, healthcare, professional services and hospitality, and has become one of Tennessee’s leading solutions for growing diverse-owned businesses.

Twende is open to entrepreneurs who identify as a racial or ethnic minority in a U.S. context, are a CEO or co-founder of an existing business that is scaling its operations, have up to $75,000 in annual revenue, and seek to join a supportive, collaborative community committed to transforming Tennessee’s minority-owned business landscape. 

To learn more about how to enroll for Twende, visit


About Nashville Entrepreneur Center

The Nashville Entrepreneur Center (EC) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) founded in 2010 by business leaders who wanted to support the next generation of entrepreneurs and to celebrate the spirit and tenacity of the entrepreneurial community. The EC serves as Nashville’s center for entrepreneurship, supporting visionaries—from every background, in any industry, and at all phases—by connecting them to critical resources and championing their desire to change the world. Learn more about the EC by following @entrecenter on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and at

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