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Pathway Lending adds new team member

By Paula Anderson

Pathway Lending expands its lending team to rural West Tennessee. Derrick Martin, vice-president of Lending, will be assisting small business owners and entrepreneurs with access to capital and lending options.

Martin joined Pathway in September and he has experience as a credit analyst, commercial loan officer and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) liaison. He graduated with a master’s in business administration from the University of Mississippi.

In this role, Martin will work with small business owners who have businesses between Memphis and Nashville.

Derrick Martin/Courtesy photo

"I will be focusing on providing support to underserved small businesses primarily in the West Tennessee region that are in need of capital access," said Martin.

Pathway Lending, a community development financial institution (CDFI), based in Nashville, Tenn. has offices in Knoxville, Memphis and Chattanooga. The CDFI focuses on woman-owned businesses and underserved communities.

Understanding when it is time to pursue a business loan depends on several factors.

“Research different types of lending options to find out who can offer the best solution,” said Martin. “Consider investors and grant programs that you may be eligible for while you are in a certain phase of your business.”

“Weigh all of your options when you are looking for access to capital.”

As a CDFI the lending criteria is somewhat different than a traditional lender and Martin said Pathway focuses on the 6 C’s.

"Character, Capacity, Credit, Collateral, Conditions and Coachability."

Martin explains in detail one important criterion - Coachability.

“The key element for Pathway Lending is to make sure business owners can listen before and after the application process. How easy are you to work with, take notes and listen to criticism,” said Martin.

Access to capital is not always easy for small businesses. Martin said taking on personal debt can impact the ability to get a business loan. He also said that taking on excessive debt is not a wise choice when it comes to your debt to income.

For companies who are in the start-up phase, Pathway Lending looks at the industry of the business owner, proof of concept, and financial projections when evaluating the loan.

“Pathway Lending is flexible and while we are not credit score driven we do look at the person’s credit history,” said Martin.

To reach Derrick Martin, send email to

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