Transitioning ideas into businesses one client at a time

We thanks Kelly Penwell, for all her magnificent work for the CEI

We thanks Kelly Penwell, for all her magnificent work for the CEI

Last night we had a great event at the C

Last night we had a great event at the CEI, “Promise Loans for Promising Entrepreneurs!” Our speaker Nathanial Owen Market Manager of Accion in Memphis, TN, spoke about Accion’s wide range of lending options for entrepreneurs and small business owners. In you want to know more about Accion go to their website

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Come see what’s been happening at the CEI!

CEI Client, Mo’s Bows, is Going Viral!


Everyone is talking about the 11-year-old entrepreneur from Memphis, TN with a classic style and “dapper” taste in fashion! CEI client, Moziah Bridges, is making a huge mark in the fashion industry with his bow tie business, Mo’s Bows! He has been featured in a number of national publications and television shows displaying his unique bow ties and passion for fashion.


Mo’s Bows was created in 2011 when Mo was only 9-years-old. In 2012 Mo’s Bows was introduced to the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation where Mo and his mom, Tramica Morris, were assisted with business plans and marketing materials by CEI interns to help expand Mo’s Bows. The bow tie business was also provided with many connections in the CEI to partner with local boutiques and business owners like Kindred Spirit Style, Juliet’s Pocket Squares, and So Giv. With his ambition, sparkling personality, and assistance from the CEI, Moziah was well on his way with a business that would soon change his life!

Mo’s Bows has grown dramatically since his relationship started with the CEI! Mo was a guest on the Steve Harvey Show last year where he convinced show host and comedian, Steve Harvey, to switch from neck ties to bow ties with the sales pitch, “Bow ties make you look good and they make you feel good!”

He was also interviewed on Fox News where he explained what drove him to create his own bow ties was the lack of fun, uniquely designed bow ties that appealed to young men, like him. Mo was also featured this month in Forbes, GQ, The Huffington Post, and in Oprah’s magazine as number 32 on the 50 Things That Will Make You Say Wow list!


Even with so much success, Mo still shows that he cares about his community through Mo’s Bows with his GO MO! Scholarship Bow Tie! 100 percent of the proceeds from this bow tie go toward helping kids attend summer camp.


Mo is a living example that no matter what age you are, you can live your dream! “You don’t have to wait until you’re older,” Tramica, Mo’s Mother, told Fox News during an interview. “If you have a dream and you have a passion, we say go for it.”

Mo isn’t worried about his age. He compares himself to another familiar designer that got his start at a young age, “ Ralph Lauren started selling neck ties when he was 10-years-old so I think I can be real famous like him so I will keep my business going all the way until I get older.”


The CEI is so proud of you, Mo! We are so excited about all of your success. Your future is so bright and we can’t wait to see what other brilliant things you have in store for the fashion world! You Go, Mo!


To purchase your Mo’s Bows bow tie visit or!

Local Resources for Memphis Entrepreneurs

Score: For the Life of Your Business

The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) Chapter 68, is a locallychartered volunteer association and resource partner of the Small Business Administration. SCORE Memphis offers free and confidential counseling to start up businesses and existing small businesses that seek advice. SCORE Memphis serves the Tennessee counties of Shelby, Tipton, Fayette and adjoining counties in Arkansas and Mississippi.


Anyone can turn to LaunchMemphis for support during all phases of startup and in fact many existing businesses turn to LaunchMemphis for programming to keep up-to-speed on innovation and technology trends. If you have a raw idea for a new startup, LaunchMemphis is where you turn before incubators and before investors. More formally, LaunchMemphis (501c3) supports the earliest stages of entrepreneurship in Memphis with dynamic programs that are designed to help potential entrepreneurs to take the first actionable steps of starting a new business. Additionally, LaunchMemphis supplies co-working to lower the economic barrier of entry to incubation along with ad hoc mentoring. For startups and businesses, LaunchMemphis provides Memphis’ only dynamic innovation economy programming to keep up-to-speed on the latest trends.


A movement is growing across the United States as we recognize that economic growth and job creation are driven by entrepreneurship. A study by The Kauffman Foundation found that the majority of net new jobs are generated by companies under five years old. It further shows that young companies – startups – are responsible for all net new wealth.

Yet despite the current momentum around entrepreneurship there remains an elephant in the room. Although women comprise over 50% of the U.S. population and now the majority of students working toward bachelor’s and graduate degrees, they represent only 35% of those launching their own ventures. And according to research by AMEX Open, only 1.8% of women-led firms qualify as “high growth” and earn over $1 million in revenue.

This is why LaunchYourCity is embarking upon our latest initiative: Upstart Memphis. As part of our efforts to develop a flourishing entrepreneurial ecosystem, Upstart focuses on recognizing and fueling women’s innovation and entrepreneurship.

StartUp Memphis Resource Center

A list of leading organizations in Memphis and across the country, that help people launch their ideas into successful enterprises.

Legal Clinics at the Memphis Public Library

Attorneys and paralegals from the Memphis Bar Association, Memphis Area Legal Services, and Memphis Paralegal Association will be on hand to help. Some issues are resolved on the spot!

Below is a list of remaining Free Saturday Legal Clinics for 2013. All sessions will be held at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue).

  • September 14, 2013, 10 am – 12:30 pm
  • October, 12, 2013, 10 am – 12:30 pm
  • November 9, 2013, 10 am – 12:30 pm
  • December 14, 2013, 10 am – 12:30 pm

For more information about the Memphis Public Library & Information Center’s Free Saturday Legal Clinics, call (901) 415-2734.

Our Clients Need Your Support!!

Congratulations to TWO CEI Clients JACQUILIN SMITH, founder of Quick Fit, and Edward Bogard, founder of So Giv, for making it to the next round in the Wal-mart: “Get On The Shelf” Contest! They both now need YOUR votes to continue in the competition! Follow the links below to go vote now to get Quick Fit and So Giv on the shelf!

Voting runs through September 2; you may vote once per day per product!

Thank you for your support!