Black Leadership Roundtable
Economic Development Committee

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The Economic Development Committee of the St. Louis Black Leadership Roundtable and
The Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church
Racial Justice Committee

The partnership of the Economic Development Committee of the Black Leadership Roundtable and the Ladue Chapel Racial Justice Committee strives to provide programs that promote economic parity for African American entrepreneurs and growth of their businesses.  To this end the partnership is now engaged in three initiatives.

1. Providing Black Business Owners technical assistance and professional development through mentoring.

2. Identifying capital availability and financing for black businesses.

3. Creating opportunities to expand African American owned businesses.


Mission – Implement Goal Number Three of the St. Louis Black Leadership Roundtable: develop programs conducive to African-American economics to be carried out in partnership with elected officials, the Urban League, the NAACP, St. Louis Minority Business Council, RCGA, Civic Progress, colleges and universities and others who can impact the economic development of African-Americans.
Purposes – (i) provide minority businesses with the opportunity to access information, capital and relationships to increase, expand and improve economic results; (ii) provide a forum for business owners to share their experiences; and (iii) increase access to business opportunities for suppliers and contractors.

Short-Term Goals

A. Hold monthly meetings for information, networking and relationship building.
B. Develop a pool of talent with information about business experience, size, type of business and areas of experience.
C. Recruit and retain the services of a mentor-manager to link minority business entrepreneurs with mentors (minority and majority) to improve business performance, access to capital and contracting opportunities.
D. Develop a cadre of funding sources – angel investors, venture capital, governmental funds and other sources (traditional and non-traditional) of funds who will be able to provided needed capital for minority-owned businesses.
E. Establish Roundtable Mentorship Group (RTMG).

Organizational Next Steps

    A.    Appoint steering committee – minimum 10 people; convenor, note-taker.  Establish estimated date for start-up (or continuation).

    B.    Issues:
1) Seek to implement Goal Number Two of the St. Louis Black Leadership Roundtable: Facilitate fifteen substantial business opportunities for African-American businesses with major corporations?
2) Leadership chair, vice chair, secretary, other?
3) Place for meeting?
4) Who, how monthly networking & presentations will be conducted; how to involve new attendees, entrepreneurs, mentors and visitors?
5) Management for talent file?
6) Marketing – word of mouth; develop membership?
7) Budget?
8) Training, standards for mentoring?
9) Set priorities; limits; parameters; group? – attendance by invitation?
10) Should we establish a separate legal entity? Board of Directors? Reporting to Roundtable and Ladue Chapel?

  C. Structure:
1) Capital Committee (acquire information on available funding resources, requirements for access, develop relationships with lenders).
2) Leadership/officers.
3) Meeting & Marketing Committee (plan & implement monthly meetings; design & implement marketing plan).
4) Mentoring Committee (maintain files; become familiar with and develop memorandum of understanding of individuals & their files; update file; recommend and mentor pairings; mediate).
5) Business Opportunities Committee.   
6) Consider obtaining the assistance of a “loaned executive.”