Directly aligned with the STL 2030 Jobs Plan priority to create a world-class ecosystem for small businesses and entrepreneurs, the Diverse Business Accelerator is for ethnically, racially, and gender-diverse business owners looking to advance their enterprise’s capacity to grow. In the span of three months, program participants will learn how to develop actionable business expansion goals, market, and communicate their services, make meaningful business connections, and identify the capital and resources required to support growth.

Curriculum Focus

The DBA program features a strategic curriculum facilitated by business coaches, professional services consultants, and subject matter experts focused on business development, capital readiness and bonding, procurement and supplier diversity, the contract bidding process and business certifications that support scaling their enterprise. Each business will be provided access to capital to support their business development efforts.

Marketing to Win

Participants will learn to communicate their business’s value proposition more effectively through customer-focused messages and selling strategies that attract profitable new business.

Building a Network

Participants will be matched with corporate mentors to establish a supportive professional advisory network essential to successful business growth.

Balancing Competing Interests

Participants will gain practical strategies for prioritizing how time and resources are managed to achieve desired outcomes and wisdom to address the inherent conflicts that arise as a business grows.

Financing and Scaling for Growth

Participants will learn how to attract capital and secure funding to support their growth plan and how to implement and improve processes required to scale their operation.

Program Impact and Time Frame

The DBA includes 8 workshops including a Signature Event at which businesses will have the change to meet with local procurement professionals to discuss potential contracting opportunities.

Business owners from previous cohorts have shared that the knowledge and insights they gained through the DBA fueled their personal growth and confidence, as well as the size and revenue of their business. A recent survey of 15 recent graduates summarizes some of the measurable outcomes many have achieved: 90% report a significant increase in business knowledge; 66% report revenue increases of 10% or more; and 71% have added jobs since program completion, with 60% adding an average of 3 jobs.


    Jobs added

    DBA portfolio companies added 90 jobs to the economy between 2019 - 2021.


    DBA grads increase knowledge

    Nearly all DBA graduates report an increase in their business knowledge after completing the program.


    DBA grads increase revenue

    DBA graduates have seen increased revenue after their program participation.

    Candidate Profile

    • Small, Local, BIPOC and Women Business Owners
    • Interested in connecting with supply chain opportunities
    • With at least one full time employee
    • Available to commit to full program participation


    • Headquarter in the 15 county St. Louis MSA
    • Small, Local BIPOC and/or Woman Owned
    • Scalable (Capacity and interest to grow to meet increased market demand)
    • Revenue generating

    I’ve tripled my monthly revenue since completing DBA using the tools, resources, strategies and support I received through the program.