For community leaders trying to brand Middle Tennessee as a welcoming place for entrepreneurs, here’s a factoid that should help: The Nashville chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization added more new members since last summer than any other chapter worldwide.
Twenty-five new members joined the Nashville EO since July 2010, more than other top contenders based in Miami; Halifax, Canada; New York City and Johannesburg, South Africa. Globally, EO has more than 7,500 members from 118 chapters in 38 countries.
There’s more to being an EO member than signing up, said membership chairman Joe Freedman, founder of RFx Legal LLC, American Legal Search LLC, American Financial Search LLC, and Music City Tents & Events. To be eligible for consideration, an entrepreneur must be younger than 50 years old and be a founder, co-founder or controlling shareholder of a company with gross annual sales exceeding $1 million.
“Word has certainly gotten out about what we’re doing, and a lot of it has to do with the fact that Nashville’s entrepreneur community is growing tremendously,” Freedman said, noting the recent launches of the state’s TNInvestco program and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center.
Founded in 1994, the Nashville chapter currently has 87 member representing a range of businesses from restaurants and clothing boutiques to technology firms and chiropractors.