Side Hustle City? A Third of Nashvillians Have or Want to Start Their Own Side Business

Weebly Celebrates Nashville’s First “Soon-To-Be Business Week” by helping turn Makers into Merchants

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Starting Tuesday, May 8, 2018, Weebly will host “Makers to Merchants” — four days of events at the East Nashville WeWork to bring together the creative community to swap strategies and challenges, share success stories and provide help and resources on a number of matters facing soon-to-be small business owners.

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--()--Weebly, the eCommerce and website platform now powering more than 50 million websites and online stores worldwide, today announced a nationwide free event series kicking off in Nashville to support the city’s side hustlers and aspiring small business owners. Starting Tuesday, May 8, Weebly will host “Makers to Merchants” — four days of events at the East Nashville WeWork to bring together the creative community to swap strategies and challenges, share success stories and provide help and resources on a number of matters facing soon-to-be small business owners.

Nationwide, 82 million Americans say they want to start their own business in the next year and new research shows that one in three (33%) Nashvillians either own a side business or want to start their own business. The study, conducted online with third party research firm YouGov, shows that people are hungry for more unique small businesses to be present in Nashville and digs into what’s stopping people from starting their own. For example:

  • Nearly half of Nashvillians (45%) support smaller businesses when possible, and more than a third (37%) would like to see more of them in the city
  • One in five (20%) Nashvillians already support themselves through a side business or secondary job
  • Of Nashville adults who are being held back from starting a new business, over half (55%) said that one reason was the lack of financial support
  • Being able to financially support one’s family is the top driver for Nashville’s side hustle (47%)

“The next wave of Nashville’s small businesses is happening right now in kitchens, studios, apartments and garages across the city. The events this week are meant to inspire and support all the Nashvillians sitting on a great idea or creating a unique product and are still asking themselves - should I take the leap?” said David Rusenko, Founder and CEO of Weebly. “Our company was built to help entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses and we’re excited for the opportunity to support aspiring small business owners in a creative community like Nashville.”

Nashville’s love for new small businesses even goes all the way to the top of City Hall. Nashville Mayor David Briley will make a proclamation Tuesday, May 8 at 5 p.m. CT at WeWork in East Nashville at the launch of “Makers to Merchants” that this week is “Nashville Soon-To-Be Business Week.”

Additional event sponsors include WeWork, Square, Unsplash, Lyft, Nashville Entrepreneur Center and Nashville Music City. “Makers to Merchants” will feature a series of inspiring and helpful workshops and panels, including:

  • “The Power of Brand” This talk brings together a wide swatch of brand gurus from the founder of Porter Flea to the head of Nashville Fashion Alliance to discuss the value of creating an authentic brand as a small business. It is moderated by Weebly Vice President of Brand Alexis Contos and hosted alongside Unsplash (Tuesday, May 8 at 5 p.m. CT)
  • “The Art of the Side Hustle” Moderated by Chris Guillebeau, acclaimed author and host of the podcast “Side Hustle School,” local makers and side hustlers will discuss how to turn insights into opportunities and work the 5-9 alongside the 9-5. (Wednesday, May 9 at 5:30 p.m. CT)
  • “When to Jump” Mike Lewis, podcast host and author of the inspirational book When to Jump: If the Job You Have Isn't the Life You Want, will dig into the story of how the founders of StyleBluePrint and The Peach Truck knew it was time to take their side hustle full time. (Thursday, May 10 at 6:30 p.m. CT)

Research also found that of those in Nashville who want training before starting a new business, almost half need help with building their website and 43 percent want help with branding and marketing their businesses. Weebly will also be providing 1:1 customer support sessions, tutorials on how to sell online with Square, free product photography and information about how to market your business on a budget.

The panels, talks and workshops are open to all and will take place at WeWork in East Nashville at 901 Woodland St.

“Nashville is a truly unique city filled with innovation, hospitality and an expansive talent pool,” said Bobby Condon, WeWork General Manager for the Southeast. “WeWork is committed Nashville and the people here by providing small and large businesses with the local community and global access they need to succeed. For us, community is a tangible asset that can help entrepreneurs thrive and inspire established businesses to do things differently. We're proud to partner with Weebly for the 'Makers to Merchants' series and the City of Nashville for its inaugural ‘Soon-To-Be Business Week’ as we all stand together in support of Nashville's creators.”

For more information on the Makers to Merchants event and to see a full list of activities and RSVP visit:

Research Methodology

Weebly commissioned YouGov PLC — a third party, professional research and consulting organization — to poll the views of 500 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between April 11-16, 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighed and are representative of the Nashville DMA (aged 18+).

About Weebly

Weebly is a website and eCommerce platform founded on the belief that anyone should have the tools necessary to take their business from idea to success.

Their simple but powerful tools let people build beautiful, mobile-optimized sites, sell their products and manage eCommerce, even grow their business with integrated marketing tools. All to make it easy for entrepreneurs to go from idea to success.

Weebly has templates, tools and pricing options for any kind of idea or business – so it can be as flexible and varied as the people who use it. It even allows them to build and edit websites from their phones with the Weebly App (the highest rated website-building app in the Google Play and App Store.)

Weebly was started in 2007 and currently powers more than 50 million entrepreneurs around the world. Weebly is based in San Francisco and is proud to be backed by Sequoia Capital, Tencent Holdings, Baseline Ventures, Floodgate, Felicis, Ron Conway and Y Combinator.


Kim Chappell, 770-401-6991


Kim Chappell, 770-401-6991