Top 5 Growing Business Industries in Nashville, TN


Here at Viking Mergers & Acquisitions, we strive to provide the best professional and confidential services to our clients located throughout the Southeast United States. Our markets focus on cities that embrace entrepreneurship and the surrounding areas where business is thriving.

Right now, Middle Tennessee is booming with business and entrepreneurship and is an ideal place to start, grow, or buy a business. Oxford Economics’ 2021 Metro Economic Forecast highlights that “Nashville has evolved from a city mostly recognized for country music into an important business center and healthcare hub.” The area is credited with many key strengths, including a highly-skilled labor force, low living and business costs, and numerous cultural amenities. Be sure to keep your eyes on these top growing industries in Nashville.

#1 Advanced Manufacturing

Advanced manufacturing has been one of the most vibrant industries in Nashville for the past two decades, solidifying the city’s reputation as a top location for advanced manufacturing operations. The Nashville area offers advantages that attract world-class manufacturers, allowing the industry to operate more efficiently and at a lower cost than almost anywhere in the nation. These advantages include:

  • Location – Nashville provides ideal market access for the local manufacturing industry, and rates for freight transport are among the most competitive in the country. The area offers the convergence of 3 interstate highways, a CSX rail system hub connecting 20 states, and Nashville International Airport air cargo supported by 10 major carriers. 
  • Labor Costs – In addition to favorable business regulatory and tax climates, as a right-to-work state, Tennessee consistently gives employers optimal return on investment. 
  • Workforce & Advanced Training – The area’s strong vocational & technical schools and community college system provide the workforce that has supported Nashville’s reputation in the advanced manufacturing industry, leading the nation in developing and maintaining a well-trained, educated workforce. Advanced manufacturing establishments employ over 153,000 Tennessee residents, representing an employment concentration that is 31% above the national average.

Top Leaders in the Nashville Manufacturing Industry: Nissan North America, Gulfstream Aircraft, General Motors, Bridgestone Americas Inc, Electrolux Home Products North America.

#2 Corporate Operations

Among booming industries in Nashville is Corporate Operations. The metro area’s reputation has grown as one of the nation’s most desirable locations for headquarters and corporate offices. Nashville’s strong talent pipeline helps drive that growth, with 60% of the region’s higher education graduates choosing to remain in the area to work. Add to that the average of 76 net new residents per day (thanks to the region becoming one of the most popular metro areas nationwide for in-migration), and it’s clear that Nashville’s employers enjoy a continuous supply of available workforce.

Nashville’s respected universities, low costs, and accommodations have recently attracted notable corporate relocations including Amazon, whose Operations Center of Excellence is set to be complete in 2023, and AllianceBernstein, which relocated from New York. Oxford Economics predicts that the attention Nashville has received from securing these two high-profile expansions should prompt further entrepreneurial activity in the city.

Leading Headquarters & Corporate Services Companies in Nashville: Vanderbilt University & Medical Center, Nissan North America, HCA Healthcare, Saint Thomas Health, Randstad, Asurion, Amazon.

#3 Information & Technology

The 2021 State of Middle Tennessee Tech Report showed area tech job growth outpaced the nation by 32%, growing by 51% from 2015-2020. In the past few years, several notable tech companies announced and began executing plans to invest in Nashville and make it a key market (Amazon, Facebook, and Oracle, to name just a few).

These additions continue to strengthen the local economy by providing even more job opportunities; in fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Information and Technology industries in Nashville saw a 10.4% employment increase just from May 2021 to May 2022. Specifically, Oracle’s move has helped to solidify Nashville’s status as a tech hub, attracting more successful companies and exponentially boosting Nashville’s tech scene.

Top Leaders in the Nashville Information Technology Industry: Amazon, Dell Technologies, Wipro, Infosys, Asurion, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Tata Consultancy Services.

#4 Healthcare

Of all the growing industries in Nashville, healthcare is the region’s largest and fastest-growing. Widely recognized as the nation’s health services capital and global healthcare industry leader, Middle Tennessee is home to more than 900 healthcare companies, and 19 publicly traded healthcare companies are headquartered in the region. The Nashville area has also developed a network of professional service firms specializing in the healthcare industry, including finance, legal, accounting, health data, analytics, and IT services. Annually, the healthcare industry in Nashville contributes 328,598 jobs and nearly $67 billion, direct and indirect, to the local economy. 

Forbes sums it up like this: “Middle Tennessee is a health ecosystem like no other. Nashville by far has greater reach and touches more patients through health service delivery than any city in the United States…The one-of-a-kind Nashville healthcare services cluster yields influence in every state in the country and drives innovation and productivity in an ecosystem that is dynamic, attractive, and inviting to all.”  

Top Leaders in the Nashville Healthcare Industry: Vanderbilt University Medical Center, HCA Healthcare, Community Health Systems, Brookdale Senior Living, Acadia Healthcare, Change Healthcare.

#5 Small Business

For the last five years, Tennessee has ranked among the top five states in Business Facilities’ annual state rankings report for best business climate, and it nabbed the #1 spot in 2019 for the third time in the report’s history. Nashville in particular is a great place to buy and own a business. As a business-friendly city, it invests a great deal into supporting entrepreneurs. Back in 2010, Nashville’s Chamber of Commerce developed the Entrepreneur Center to connect entrepreneurs with resources, mentors, and investors. Additionally, EO Nashville is the largest EO chapter in the country and one of the largest in the world.

If you’re looking to sell or buy a business in the Middle Tennessee area, now is a very good time. Our intermediaries can help you plan your exit strategy or assist in finding an ideal business for you. Contact Viking Mergers & Acquisitions of Nashville for a free valuation of your business.