KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (TN Tribune) – The Knoxville Area Urban League and Urban League of Greater Chattanooga will soon begin a joint session of NextLevel, a business development program offered through a partnership between the Tennessee Valley Authority, Interise and Tennessee Urban League Affiliates. The purpose of the seven-month program, scheduled to start August 18, is to support established small business owners who wish to create a dynamic plan to grow his or her business.
“NextLevel is an impactful program that utilizes research-driven business development tools and local collaboration with industry professionals to help business owners build a strategic roadmap to business growth and success,” said Phyllis Y. Nichols, president and CEO of the Knoxville Area Urban League. “We deeply appreciate our community partners, Tennessee Valley Authority and Interise, for their commitment to entrepreneurs who are ready to take their next steps forward.”
This year, business owners and entrepreneurs from Knoxville and Chattanooga will learn together in an online class featuring instructors and successful business owners from each city.
The program utilizes nationally recognized curriculum to help business owners develop three-year strategic growth plans and a customized guide for sustaining growth. Class members will participate in 13 virtual sessions over the course of the program and will graduate with renewed mindsets and fresh perspectives on business growth, development, marketing, balancing cash flow and connecting with local and national resources that support small businesses.
“By connecting two Urban League affiliates and offering a joint program, we can multiply networking opportunities for NextLevel participants in both cities,” said Terrence Center, vice president of economic and business development at the Knoxville Area Urban League. “This way, they will have increased efficiency and access to support and resources across the state.”
While the program is nearly at capacity, established small business owners in Knoxville and Chattanooga who are interested in participating in NextLevel may contact their local Urban League for more details. Call 865-524-5511 in Knoxville or 423-756-1762 in Chattanooga.
Knoxville and Chattanooga are two of the four statewide Urban League affiliates offering the program for area business owners. The Tennessee Urban League Affiliates in Memphis and Nashville both started NextLevel sessions in April. To learn more about the program, please visit or contact the program manager at
About the Knoxville Area Urban League
Since 1968, the Knoxville Area Urban League has assisted disadvantaged people attain social and economic stability and self-sufficiency through direct services and advocacy. The League works to provide a skilled and diverse workforce; to increase homeownership; to support economic and small business development, and to enhance education efforts for our youth. The Knoxville Area Urban League is a United Way partner agency and affiliate of the National Urban League. The League’s work and results are evident in the lives of the over 8,000 people it impacts each year. For more information, call 865-524-5511 or visit
About Urban League of Greater Chattanooga
Since 1982, the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga has been an affiliate of the National Urban League, the nation’s largest community-based organization movement devoted to empowering African-American and other underserved individuals to enter the economic and social mainstream.  In addition to its programmatic emphasis on education, economic empowerment, workforce development and inclusion by design, the Urban League operates the Entrepreneur Center, which is structured to align with the National Urban League’s entrepreneurship center model.  The League’s work and results are evident in the lives of the over 15,000 people it touches each year.  For more information, visit