We love historic downtowns!

Enhancing the economic, social, cultural and environmental well-being of historic downtown business districts in Missouri.

Public and Private INVESTMENT


Net new businesses


Net New jobs


volunteer hours


Designated Missouri Main Street communities report economic impact in their districts each quarter. Cumulative totals for the program.


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Return To Upcoming Trainings

Supporting Entrepreneurs In Central Business Districts

June 22, 2023



Date & Time:

Thursday, June 22, 2023 from 1:00pm to 4:30pm



Raeder Place - 4th Floor, 727 N 1st Street, St. Louis, MO 63102



Creating a successful entrepreneurship ecosystem depends on building a cross-sector of partnerships and collaborations. This workshop will provide the tools and strategies to support entrepreneurs by highlighting current trends and new approaches that support existing and aspiring entrepreneurs. Amanda Elliott, Senior Program Officer with the National Main Street Center and Director of California Programs, and LeJuano Varnell, Executive Director for Sweet Auburn Works, Inc., will share their expertise in supporting the ecosystem and teaching you skills to utilize in your district or neighborhood. Participants will have the opportunity to join facilitated group discussions on entrepreneurship.  This is part one of a four-part series.


Missouri Main Street Connection and The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Grant Entrepreneurial Series: June 22 – Supporting Entrepreneurs in Central Business Districts
August 15 – Accessing Capital and Other Resources for Entrepreneurs
September 26 – Diverse and Equitable Development
October 18 – Local Partners and Resources Supporting St. Louis Entrepreneurs



AMANDA ELLIOTT is a Senior Program Officer and Director of California Programs at the National Main Street Center (NMSC).  She is responsible for delivering comprehensive commercial district revitalization technical services to partner communities and coordinating programs across the country and acting as Director of the California Main Street program administered by the NMSC. She is the former Executive Director of the Richmond Main Street Initiative in Richmond, California where she was responsible for managing and supervising the activities, operations and services of the organization; developing strategies for enhancing the downtown economy; establishing working relationships with the community, city, and county government; and maintaining ongoing collaborative relationships with community agencies.  

LEJUANO VARNELL is the Executive Director of Sweet Auburn Works, Inc., the preservation-based economic development organization created to protect and enhance the commercial and cultural legacy of the Sweet Auburn Historic District. Mr. Varnell brings more than 18 years of private sector operating and finance experience in Africa, Asia, and the US to this role, and has employed those skills to create a career of using private capital to solve difficult market problems. Mr. Varnell received a BA in Economics from Morehouse College and an MS in Finance from the Carroll School of Management, Boston College. He is an avid outdoorsman, and when not hiking or biking, he enjoys cooking with his friends and family.

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Supporting Entrepreneurs in Central Business Districts

General Information

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Pricing & Booking Information

No charge to attend. Costs are sponsored by a grant from The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. 

RSVP's are required to attend.


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This workshop was funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The content of this publication are solely the responsibility of the Grantee. 

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