Washington University in St. Louis’ Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation Lab (SEI Lab) has been awarded a $200,000 grant to explore and document how entrepreneurship affects equity and mobility.

SEI Lab is a joint initiative of the Brown School and Olin Business School.

SEI Lab was awarded the grant by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The organization is committed to improving education and boosting entrepreneurship in the Heartland.

Portrait of WashU Brown School professor Heather Cameron

Heather Cameron is the Michael B. Kaufman Professor of Practice in Social Entrepreneurship at the Brown School and director of the SEI Lab. According to Cameron, the grant will be used to launch Capital Access Prosperity St. Louis (CAP STL). The project will document and explore the experiences of early-stage Black and Latinx entrepreneurs as they prepare their businesses to access capital through the WEPOWER Elevate/Elevar incubator.

WEPOWER  is a nonprofit organization that partners with Black and Latinx people, primarily in neighborhoods that have experienced disinvestment, to build political and economic power, and advance equitable systems change.

CAP STL also will work within the broader St. Louis and Midwestern entrepreneurial ecosystem exploring the feasibility of alternative financing models to provide capital and mentorship to more Black and Latinx entrepreneurs.

CAP STL leaders will interview applicants and finalists from WEPOWER’s accelerator program to understand their path to entrepreneurship,  and the barriers to and support for raising money they encounter.

Learn more about CAP STL.