The Elevate Founders’ Commitment to Community


St. Louis’ business community holds significant power over regional policy initiatives. Today, howeverSt. Louis’ business leadership and startup-support ecosystem does not reflect the demographics of the St. Louis region, especially those directly impacted by racial disparities.

There is an opportunity for the business community to increase i accountability to and relationship with Black and Latinx communities when it comes to business and general regional decisions that impact their lives.  Such a shift has the potential to pivot our region away from band aid policy solutions to systemic issues that leave divested communities segregated and continuing through cycles of poverty and, instead, elevate our region towards transformational, equity-driven, and sustainable solutions that can create shared prosperity. Not to mention, there’s a business case for racial equity.

Elevate supports the development of a new generation of business leaders who share the lived experiences of underrepresented communities and commit to wealth-building and meaningful community engagement practices.

In this way, we approach power as an abundant resource. Our founders build and share economic power and political power with communities most impacted by historic disinvestment. A rising tide lifts all ships. #elevate

At WEPOWER, we believe that investing in underrepresented entrepreneurs can yield new ideas, markets, and revenue streams that others have overlooked. We also believe that building a generation of business leaders accountable to low-wealth, yet high potential communities brings St. Louis a competitive advantage.

The Elevate Founders’ Commitment to Community catalyzes companies to achieve collective wealth-building and a new culture win-win community engagement.

Our commitment is a set of principled actions that all incoming founding teams agree to uphold.

The Elevate Founders’ Commitment to Community

All Elevate companies agree to:

  • Hire at or above a living-wage

    link isn’t working. :/ Research demonstrates that our current minimum wage is not enough. No matter how hard one works, minimum wage is not enough for a family to meet their basic needs. Minimum wage save money for a rainy day, Minimum wage is not enough for families to build wealth. Minimum wage won’t break the vicious cycle of poverty. Families have a fundamental right to earn wages that allow them to thrive instead of barely survive.

  • Build partnerships with workforce development programs

    that can help you employ members of disinvested communities

  • Invest in your people

  • Work with an Advisory board that includes members of the community

    where your company operates / disinvested communities

  • Integrate racial equity into the company culture

    evident by equitable policies, practices, goals, funding of ongoing team development, and the work environment

Employers and founders outside of Elevate that have also signed the Commitment to Community.

  • _________

  • _________

Contact to sign on your company to the Commitment to Community.

AboutCaitlin Lee