The Shelby Project

A family investment fund focused on the tiny entrepreneur.

What We Do

The Shelby Project is a family investment fund focused on the tiny entrepreneur. Our investments come from our personal capital. We meet with business owners, determine how we can add value, and make a decision about investing.

Our arrangements are simple. We invest a set amount of money into your business to help you start generating revenue immediately or increase your existing revenue.

We provide regular coaching and guidance for your business operations.

You repay the initial investment + a small percentage of your future revenue through a structured revenue share agreement.

If you have questions about how we invest, you can find answers in our FAQ.

The Team

Justin Welsh

Co-founder

I'm an advisor, investor, coach, speaker, and former executive operator.

For the last decade I've helped build two $50M ARR companies and raise over $300M in venture capital.

My wife, Jennifer, and I co-founded The Shelby Project, focused on the small business owner. All investments are made from our family's personal capital. We meet with business operators, discuss it as a couple, and make a decision. It's simple.

Jennifer Welsh

Co-founder

I'm a former startup operator, turned startup advisor, turned tiny business investor, coach, and cheerleader.

Since 2010, I've helped well-funded startups grow and scale employee experience programs and facility operations across the world. Money and resources make all that possible.

I co-founded The Shelby Project to bring money and resources to a different group. Tiny entrepreneurs. We provide guidance & funding to turn passion projects into meaningful earning opportunities.

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About us

The Shelby Project is the result of over 20 years of combined experience working in fast-growing startups, where everyone figured things out as they went, with little or no previous experience. These companies, and the employees that drove them forward, learned mostly by making expensive mistakes.

After leaving startups to launch our own respective small businesses, we relied heavily on our experience "figuring things out," but faced immense challenges nonetheless. And this time around, there were no teams to collaborate with. And we were playing with our own money. Going into business for yourself can be a daunting and lonely endeavor, not for the faint of heart.

Through plenty of trial and error, we realized we could apply our basic startup business principles to our own small businesses. Great results followed.

Many people have talent and passion, and dreams of building businesses around those passions.
But building a business is hard work. Having an idea and making it come to life are two different things. Where do you start?

Unfortunately, many great products and services never come to the customers that need them because getting started is so intimidating.

We recognize that small businesses make up the cultural fabric of the neighborhoods we live and play in. They give us a sense of local community that's far more appealing than big box stores and world-wide chains. Small businesses give us a feeling that big money can't buy.

We created The Shelby Project to make launching and operating a business a reality for people who have important products and services to share with their communities. We're a boutique firm based in Nashville, Tennessee. We provide education, guidance, and financial investments for tiny entrepreneurs.

FAQ

What is a tiny entrepreneur?
A tiny entrepreneur is currently selling a product or service on a small scale. They have a clear path to growth, but they're lacking some necessary resources that will help them generate more revenue.

What are your investment criteria?
We consider investing in companies that have a registered business and have been producing at least $2,500 in monthly revenue for 6 months or longer.

We are currently investing in companies based in the United States. We hope to take our investments abroad someday!

How much do you invest?

Every partnership is different, but we typically invest between $5,000 and $10,000.

What kinds of companies do you invest in?
We're industry agnostic, and open to anything serving a real need. We're particularly drawn to farmers' market vendors with amazing products, mom-and-pop / main street businesses, and freelancers doing interesting work.