North City Residents—Add your voice!

“If given the opportunity, I would participate in selecting what businesses do or do not come into my community.”

90% of the residents surveyed in WEPOWER’s Dream of Change Resident Survey agreed or strongly agreed with this statement.

While Elevate/Elevar recruits business owners from all over the region to scale their companies, we focus on sparking living-wage employment and economic development opportunities in North St. Louis City.

The Elevate/Elevar accelerator partners with residents of North St. Louis City. Through surveys, appointments to selection committees, and participatory budgeting ballots, residents inform business strategies that impact their neighborhoods.


I want to see entrepreneurs and business owners play a role in my community by creating businesses, supporting community activities, and hiring residents.

Vickie F., Baden resident

Vote on Finalists

Vote this November on which finalists are accepted into the business accelerator and receive seed funding to grow their business. The founders of these businesses sign on to the Commitment to Community. Sign up to be sent a ballot during the vote period.

Share your Dream of Change

Tell us about your vision for your community and its jobs and businesses.


If businesses are profiting from our neighborhoods, they should be accountable to our neighborhoods.

Robin Wheeler, O’Fallon


“I want to see bigger businesses in our area so they can employ more people—but I don’t want to see big businesses take over.”

Kimberly Beck, Florissant resident, grew up in The Ville

You have to be embedded in community. Ferguson reminded us that you can’t parachute into a community and then leave. In our society, we value doing things quickly, but trust moves at the speed of relationship building and is often slower.

Elizabeth Vega, Art House, Greater Ville

Serve on the review committee

Select which businesses advance as Elevate finalists. Apply to serve on the application review and interview committee.