The Center for the Acceleration of African-American Business (CAAAB) is a non-profit civic organization established to support the growth and development of businesses owned by minority populations, primarily African Americans. The Center’s goal is to advance economic development in the St. Louis and metro East Illinois regions by elevating the status of African American businesses and their workforce.
Small Business Capacity Building Program:
Specifically targeted to small and disadvantaged minority-owned businesses, this program provides them with specialized expertise and training to hone and sustain their businesses. The long-term goal of this program is to expand the market share of this business group and spur economic growth.
The Small Business Capacity Building Consulting model is based on the relationships and trust CAAAB has built with small disadvantaged minority business group over the years. The model is also built on CAAAB’s frequent one-to-one interactions with business leaders about the challenges they face, focus group meetings, and established best practices. CAAAB has developed partnerships with various local support service organizations and business consultants to implement this program.
Parents as Entrepreneurs:
CAAAB was among seven program managers out of 50 applications to receive a demonstration grant from the Incarnate Word Foundation, a local St. Louis Foundation, to implement a pilot project- Parents as Entrepreneurs in a distressed St. Louis Public School.
The goal of this program is to train and guide parents in becoming successful entrepreneurs so that they achieve social and economic independence, which will have a positive impact on the children. The program is designed to provide rigorous business development training and one-on-one consulting to program participants, and lead them to starting/establishing their business.
CAAAB has also been engaged by the Incarnate Word Foundation to start and manage a micro loan program for place-based micro businesses. The first recipient of this loan, a participant of the Parents as Entrepreneurs program, now owns and operates a mobile barbeque business.
CAAAB is now working towards expanding this program to other schools and school districts in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area.