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A need for change.
According to the SBA and MERIC, Missouri lost over 20,000 small businesses and 175,000 jobs as a result of COVID. Small businesses with four or less employees make up nearly 80% of Missouri’s total employment. Our network programs and services fulfill key recommendations from the Show Me Strong Recovery Task Force Report to revitalize small businesses.

Our Approach

Expand the Reach of SBDCs

We increase the local reach of the Missouri Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) to provide programs and services to entrepreneurs and small business owners from all backgrounds and locations across the region.

Increase Access to Services

Our SBDCs work together to help small businesses learn and implement best practices in a variety of critical business operations from more access to services and support.

Talent Attraction

We increase awareness and access to On-the-Job Training (OJT) and other opportunities to provide better access to workforce for small businesses.


According to, between 2015 and 2019, second-stage companies with 10 to 99 employees and over $1 million in revenue represented only 16% of U.S. establishments. However, they generated 37% of all jobs.

Early-Stage Small Business Boot Camp

Apply for our intensive eight-week cohort-based Early-Stage Small Business Boot Camp. You’ll get advisement, education and access to peers, tools and resources to start and accelerate small business growth. It will be delivered annually at eight locations and fully virtually.

Focused Business Advising

Initial and ongoing business advising through Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) and small business incubators across the region.

Education on Essential Topics

Hands-on education on core topics such as customer discovery, marketing communications, and a focus on financial planning.

Peer Mentoring, Tools & Resources

Access to a regional and statewide network of peer mentors and the tools and resources to accelerate small business growth.

Financial Planning & Capital

Special emphasis on financial planning and projections needed to acquire growth capital.  

Elevate Second-Stage Small Business Accelerator

As a small business grows into a second-stage company, you experience new challenges. Elevate, a program of the Missouri Small Business Development Center, helps small business owners find custom consulting and a virtual peer network at no cost. With these invaluable resources and experts at your fingertips, you can find and seize new opportunities as you scale your business.

Statewide Elevate Program

Missouri SBDC’s Elevate program, offered in partnership with the Edward Lowe Foundation, focuses on second-stage businesses. They usually have:
  • 10 - 99 full-time employees.
  • $750,000 - $50 million in annual sales.
  • The opportunity to grow beyond their current market area.

Engage With National Consultants

Each small business owner is paired with a team leader. Together they determine the business’s right next steps. Then specialized consultants, vetted by the Edward Lowe Foundation, provide data and share best practices related to the business’s particular needs.

Peer Learning Roundtables

Powerful peer-learning roundtables are facilitated by Edward Lowe Foundation experts, and bring the participants together to confidentially share their experiences and discuss their most pressing issues.

Consistent Results

The Elevate program has delivered consistent results helping growing small businesses acquire key customers and partner, increase sales, and acquire growth capital.

Learn More about Small Business Services

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SBDCs help businesses in every stage, from startup to succession. We conveniently connect entrepreneurs locally or virtually to a wide variety of consulting, counseling, and mentoring services, leveraging the unique talents of organizations and individuals across the region.

No-Cost Business Consulting to Start Your Business

When you’re ready to make your dream a reality, we’re here to help.

Looking for one-on-one feedback? Missouri SBDCs across the region provide local and virtual confidential, no-cost consulting to help businesses start and grow in southern Missouri. Schedule a call today to learn how we can help.

No-cost Business Consulting To Grow Your Business

Growth is opportunity. Let us help you overcome challenges so you can excel.

Looking for one-on-one feedback? Missouri SBDCs across the region provide local and virtual confidential, no-cost consulting to help businesses start and grow in southern Missouri. Schedule a call today to learn how we can help.

Regional Business Mentor Network

Our Mentorship Network connects you to experienced business professionals with a wide range of expertise. Receive honest advice and practical feedback during one-on-one mentorship meetings. All information shared in mentorship meetings is confidential.

Meetings are 30 minutes in duration and are held virtually.

Missouri Technology Corporation Infrastructure Grant Program for Innovate Somo

The objective of the Physical Infrastructure Grant Program is to provide state funding to support the following physical infrastructure needs within the state:
  • Flexible and below-market-rate commercial office space, including co-working spaces, private offices, meeting rooms, and access to high-speed internet, in regions where entrepreneurs lack access to these resources;
  • Specialized or sector-specific services, facilities, and other infrastructure, including but not limited to wet lab space and Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (SCIF), that would otherwise be unavailable in an area/region; and
  • Infrastructure that is broadly recognized as a center for entrepreneurship for the community/region, helping elevate the role of innovation and entrepreneurship in the economy.