Tennessee gets national attention for women entrepreneurship

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Tennessee was featured as one of the new hot spots for women looking to start their own businesses.

A Forbes contributor recently wrote an article titled, "Is Tennessee the New Hotspot for Women Entrepreneurs?"

It featured Memphis-based business, eDivv, where women can trade beauty products.

WREG spoke with a local entrepreneur, Dr. Lisa Jennings.

She owned Ariste Medical, which works on surgical implants and CirQuest Labs, which helps pharmaceutical companies with their drug development.

"Still, to this day, sometimes I'm walking into a room of my peers and my colleagues, and I may be the only woman," Jennings said.

She said her companies aimed to make a difference.

Ariste recently received a $4.6 million investment.

She was not alone.

"There's funds that have been developed in and around Memphis and the state of Tennessee that are focused on investing in women enterprises, and that's really important," said Leslie Lynn Smith with EPIcenter.

EPIcenter is a public/private partnership that aimed to be the first point of contact with Memphis entrepreneurs.

It helped businesses access resources they need.

Smith said data suggested women entrepreneurs received a small amount of the country's venture investments.

She said women made up about half of the small businesses she worked with at EPIcenter.

She would love to see more women from all fields come to Memphis, although there was a particularly strong market for medicine and tech businesses.

The Forbes article asked if Tennessee's strong entrepreneurial environment has something to do with affordability.

Tennessee has no income tax.

It also said Tennessee has less competition than places like California and New York.

Jennings said Memphis, specifically, has some perks for her line of work too.

"FedEx headquarters is very much an important component for us because we receive samples from all over the world, and we're shipping out samples," Jennings said.

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