Entrepreneur Resources

Pathway Lending: Financing Businesses and Strengthening Communities

A Northeast TN Small Business Resource Feature

pathway logo

Finding and securing funding is one of the biggest concerns we hear from small business owners and startups in the Northeast TN Region.

There are many ways to fund your small business, from self-funding and bootstrapping, to crowdfunding and angel investors.

But what happens when those options aren’t readily available or the right fit for your business?

Getting a small business loan isn’t always easy. Sometimes, you may not even qualify for a small business loan from a traditional bank. That’s where Pathway Lending comes in to help.

Pathway Lending Clients

Pathway Lending is a Community Development Financial Institution, or CDFI, started in Oak Ridge in 1999. Now based in Nashville but serving all of Tennessee and Alabama, Pathway Lending provides funding and education to underserved markets that include businesses in low- to mid-moderate income areas, minority- and women-owned businesses, and businesses who don’t qualify for traditional loans.

Whether your business is brand new or has been around for many years, Pathway Lending has a variety of lending options offering loans and lines of credits for everything from accounts receivable, equipment, and inventory to marketing, real estate, and debt consolidation. Their goal is to combine smart, flexible capital with technical assistance to support small business owners until their cash flow improves and they can transition to a traditional bank environment.

In addition to funding, Pathway Lending also has a team of trusted Business Advisors who can help your small business identify opportunities, implement strategies, and grow your profitability.

Ted Fields, Tennessee Regional Director of Lending for Pathway Lending, is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and the communities they support. Two characteristics he said are most important for small business owners to have are “coachability and a high level of commitment/personal investment” to their business and the funding process. Without these characteristics, it’s hard a business owner reach their full potential.

Pathway Lending Clients

Pathway Lending’s mission is to provide lending solutions and educational services that support the development, growth, and preservation of underserved small businesses, affordable housing, and sustainable communities. Simply put, Pathway Lending is committed to financing businesses and strengthening communities.

To learn more about Pathway Lending or to explore their lending options, please visit them on the web at www.pathwaylending.org or check out their Women’s Business Center at www.pathwaywbc.org for more information about classroom training.


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