top of page
Catalyzing Equity for Every Entrepreneur

Training St Louis Leaders in the E3 Program


Creating stronger communities and closing the opportunity gap requires us to level the playing field for all entrepreneurs. We stand at an unprecedented time in history where companies and organizations around the country - and right here in St. Louis - have been stepping up to make verbal - and in many cases, financial - commitments to advance the cause of racial equity by supporting businesses owned by people of color. While this is certainly a welcome paradigm shift, the reality is that it will take more than mission statements and one-time campaigns to erase centuries of inequitable economics. Lasting change will require a long-term commitment to dismantling systemic barriers, healing conversations, and rethinking our approaches to wealth creation and economic growth. 


Most importantly, it will require a handful of our community’s leaders stepping up to champion a new era of ‘equity for every entrepreneur’.

Untitled design (5).png
The E3 St Louis Leadership Institute

E3 St. Louis is a groundbreaking, 2-week leadership program centered at the cross-section of racial equity, business development, and economic development. The unique, cohort-based program has been uniquely designed for the corporate, civic, philanthropic, and startup leaders that play a role in the community’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

A 4-Part Series for STL Ecosystem Champions

The E3 St Louis Program is comprised of two full-day, in-person sessions per cohort. Each session will feature an interactive training experience, a local guest speaker, and a practical exercise designed to put learned concepts into action. 


Participants will be asked to commit approximately 15 hours to the program over the course of two weeks: 14 hours of in-person cohort-based training and about one hour of external practical exercises, material review, and cohort interaction. In order to receive the program certificate, participants will be expected to attend both in-person sessions.

Session 1 - Part 1:

People Matter & History Matters

  • Cohort relationship and trust building

  • Personal and leadership positioning on issues of racial equity

  • Historical and local context of racial equity issues through an economic lens

SESSION 2 - Part 3:

Culture Matters & Leadership Matters

  • Emerging and understanding the needs of racialized entrepreneurs

  • Equity-centered leadership and team development

  • Creating a culture of access, belonging, inclusion, diversity and equity

SESSION 1 - Part 2:

Words Matter & Change Matters

  • Word/language choice and why it matters

  • Implicit bias and microaggressions in organizations and in community

  • Systems-based thinking and narrative change

SESSION 2 - Part 4:

Ecosystem Matters & Time Matters

  • Equitable collaboration

  • Policy considerations and equitable capital access

  • Measuring progress over time

Fall 2022 Cohort Schedule

Session 1: Friday, September 23rd from 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM

Session 2: Friday, October 7th from 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM

- breakfast and lunch served

Getting Results

As a result of engagement, participants will:

  • Have an increased understanding and empathy for the entrepreneurial journey for the history and lived experiences of racially diverse under-connected, under-valued, under-resourced, and under-invested entrepreneurs 

  • Gain clarity on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to equity within the St. Louis  entrepreneurial ecosystem

  • Internalize a healthy understanding of the leadership and power dynamics that can exacerbate or mitigate systemic barriers

  • Amass a repertoire of inclusive language and practices for engaging currently disenfranchised entrepreneurs, small business owners, and under-connected ESOs

  • Increase the ability to develop and lead equitable strategies for mitigating unconscious bias and discrimination in recruitment, staffing, outreach, and service delivery

  • Develop a readiness to advocate for more equitable policies and capital access

  • Strengthen decision-making skills to address inequities at the individual, organizational, and ecosystem level

  • Grow more authentic, connected, and collaborative relationships with other members of the cohort

Facilitated by Fay Horwitt, CEO of Forward Cities

Fay Horwitt

E3 St. Louis will be led by Fay Horwitt, the President & CEO of Forward Cities, a national organization equipping communities and leaders to grow more equitable entrepreneurial ecosystems. Horwitt is a nationally recognized expert in the field and serves as the executive lead for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s ESHIP Communities program. She speaks to and trains leaders through an asset-based lens and a passion for creative and collective problem-solving.

bottom of page