Our Mission and Vision

The BALSA Foundation’s mission is to promote social equity and prosperity in the St. Louis region by empowering first-time entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses. We fulfill this mission by (1) maintaining an online, step-by-step guide to starting a business, (2) providing free feedback from experts to anyone with a business idea, (3) providing cash grants, mentorship, and donations of professional services to first time entrepreneurs who need and will benefit from them the most.

Our vision is a St. Louis community that embraces first time entrepreneurship as a gateway to social change.


Founded in 2014, The BALSA Foundation is a volunteer-run organization of entrepreneurs, scientists, community leaders, and young professionals. The Foundation aims to make entrepreneurship accessible – and success attainable – to everyone.  

We believe that helping first-time entrepreneurs start and grow their business is an effective way to promote community, equity, and economic growth in our region. We are passionate about providing opportunities to thrive especially to those in our underserved communities.

We are the philanthropic arm of The BALSA Group, and serve to fulfill its mission of community service. From The BALSA Group we obtain significant financial support and the expertise of its members and alumni.

Learn more about our team and our partners.  Read more about our updated Mission and Vision statement.