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Facilitating Growth for Missouri Businesses

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“Unlike startups or larger corporations, mid-size businesses often find themselves in limbo where they’re either too big to be considered small or not large enough to enjoy extensive support networks,” said Lance Coffman, business consultant at the Missouri SBDC at Missouri State University’s efactory.

These businesses, with 10-99 employees, are vital to the economy, accounting for approximately 40% of jobs. Enter Elevate, an initiative aimed at bolstering the growth of second-stage businesses in Missouri. It’s available thanks to a partnership between the Missouri SBDC and Edward Lowe Foundation in cooperation with the Southern Missouri Innovation Network.

Coffman sheds light on the program’s significance and impact.

“Targeting businesses with 10 to 99 employees and annual revenues ranging from $1 - 50 million dollars, the Elevate program fills a crucial niche in the local economy,” he said. These second-stage companies, while comprising only 18.6% of the business landscape, play an outsized role in job creation and economic stability.

“Second-stage businesses often grapple with isolation and a lack of resources that are tailored to their needs,” said Coffman.  In addition, many of these business owners may be lacking formal training in management and leadership, which creates gaps in essential skills.


A Tailored Solution

The Elevate program steps in to bridge these gaps, offering a comprehensive suite of resources and support. The program provides qualifying companies with access to expert consultation and personalized guidance over a six-month period. Businesses receive targeted assistance in areas such as marketing, sales, human resources, finance and operations. Elevate also incorporates peer-to-peer roundtable discussions, providing a forum for CEOs to share insights, challenges and solutions.

The efficacy of the Elevate program is underscored by tangible outcomes. “Participating businesses have reported significant increases in sales, capital investment and annual revenues,” Coffman said. “By harnessing the expertise of seasoned consultants and fostering collaboration among peers, the program equips businesses with the tools they need to thrive in a competitive market.”

The Elevate program is accessible to businesses at no cost, eliminating financial barriers that often hinder growth. Prospective participants can apply at, where they can also schedule consultations and access additional information about the program.

As the Elevate program continues to evolve and expand its reach, it remains committed to empowering second-stage businesses and driving economic vitality across Missouri. By investing in the success of these businesses today, the program lays the groundwork for a more prosperous and resilient future.


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