Saint Louis University Receives Grant for Entrepreneur Workshops in North St. Louis

January 19, 2015 — Saint Louis University School of Law’s Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic (ECD) and the John Cook School of Business and its Habitat for Neighborhood Business program have been awarded grant funding to support a pilot project known as the E Workshop Project. The project will focus legal and business support to neighborhood entrepreneurs in north St. Louis city and county.

“Many areas of St. Louis have experienced patterns of community disinvestment and segregation,” said Associate Professor Dana Malkus, a supervisor of the ECD clinic. “The destructive results of this and other policies have isolated individuals from job opportunities and robbed neighborhoods of economic opportunity. Individuals with entrepreneurial ventures in these areas lack access to traditional sources of capital and market-rate legal services and face a daunting gauntlet of regulations and legal risks.  Our goal is to bridge that gap for these entrepreneurs.”

The E Workshop Project will provide individuals who live or operate their ventures in north St. Louis city or county an opportunity to attend a series of community-based workshops on business-related legal topics. The workshops are intended to empower workshop participants to start or expand an entrepreneurial venture, recognize and mitigate potential legal risks and incorporate operational best practices. All workshop participants will also have the opportunity to receive individualized pro bono assistance through the ECD Clinic and business mentoring through the Cook School and its Habitat for Neighborhood Business program.

“Since the business and legal issues entrepreneurs face are often intertwined, coupling a business mentoring program such as Habitat for Neighborhood Business with legal services through the ECD Clinic provides a platform for more effective entrepreneurship support than what either program can accomplish alone,” said Doug Brown, founder of the Habitat for Neighborhood Business.

There will be four workshops starting this spring. This interdisciplinary effort brings together students from across campus with a common goal of fostering community businesses. Law students will participate in the workshop presentation as well as any follow up work throughout the semester.  

SLU LAW’s ECD Clinic provides transactional representation to entrepreneurs, nonprofits, community groups and small businesses. ECD clinic clients seek to positively impact the St. Louis community in a variety of ways, including neighborhood revitalization, job creation, producing and preserving affordable housing, offering needed goods and services, and working to generate solutions to common community problems. 

Organized in 2006 in partnership with the Cook School, Habitat for Neighborhood Business is a volunteer 501(c)3 organization that develops retail and service business centers in economically distressed neighborhoods. The initial focus has been the underserved communities of North St. Louis City. Habitat for Neighborhood Business extends opportunities to residents to be trained and mentored for their own businesses.  It provides economic incentives to start a business in their own community with the belief that residents will support their neighbor’s business and begin to create wealth within the community.

For more information about the clinic, please visit law.slu.edu/entrepreneurship-and-community-development-clinic.  

About Saint Louis University School of Law

Saint Louis University School of Law was founded in 1843 and is the oldest law school west of the Mississippi River. The strength of the faculty, breadth of course offerings and extensive clinical and professional skills experience provide students with a well-rounded legal education. The School of Law’s rich history consists of strong connections to the community and a long tradition of public service. SLU LAW’s location in the heart of downtown St. Louis, offers students unparalleled access to leading law firms, courthouses, corporations, government agencies and non-profit organizations — and a unique opportunity to see the law in action. For more information, visit http://law.slu.edu/.

About the John Cook School of Business

Founded in 1910 with Father Joseph Davis’ vision to create a flourishing school of finance and commerce, the John Cook School of Business is the oldest business school west of the Mississippi River. Rooted in a rich history of values-based business education, for the past century Saint Louis University’s business school has continuously sought to define business education.  

Accredited by AACSB International the John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University is home to top-20 programs in entrepreneurship, international business and supply chain management. In 2015, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Cook School one of the top-100 business schools in the country. To learn more, visit business.slu.edu

About Saint Louis University

Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development of nearly 13,000 students on two campuses in St. Louis, Missouri, and Madrid, Spain. Building on a legacy of nearly 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good. To learn more, visit: www.slu.edu.


Originally Released By SLU Law

For more information, contact:
Jessica L. Ciccone, SLU LAW
Director of Communications


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