Pictured: Lakeysha Hallmon

ELEVATE Mississippi to launch with a $750,000 grant provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation 

Our Village United (OVU) announced the launch of ELEVATE Mississippi, expanding its incubator program which serves the most urgent needs of small businesses. ELEVATE Mississippi will focus on providing direct support to 100 small business owners by way of technical assistance, novel capital and more. 

“Growing up in Batesville, Mississippi, the values and principles of togetherness, self-determination and a cooperative approach to community building inspired me to launch my 501c3,  Our Village United and create an incubator, ELEVATE,” said Dr. Lakeysha Hallmon, Executive Director of Our Village United.

“My home state is bursting at the seams with talented Mississippians primed to become trendsetters in innovation. These potential business owners are what we need to introduce economically stimulating businesses that will boost job opportunities and the overall economy throughout the Magnolia State. However, what sits at the cornerstone of any successful business is a robust ecosystem that offers technical assistance, back-office support and capital.” 

ELEVATE Mississippi will focus on partnering with Mississippi-based partners and local Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The project is funded by a $750,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. 

The 12-week incubator has provided resources, tools, mentorship, training, wellness support, and more for a village of small businesses throughout Atlanta and beyond. ELEVATE’s programming is dedicated to accelerating growth for small businesses. 

“Small businesses are the heartbeat of booming economies and it’s crucial that they are equipped with wrap-around support that allows them to thrive,” said Dr. Hallmon.

“ELEVATE, in partnership with W.K. Kellogg Foundation,  is an opportunity to provide direct solutions to the hurdles small businesses face and create an ecosystem of thriving businesses that allows prosperity for the entire community  Launching ELEVATE Mississippi is an opportunity to become an ally to small business owners and a partner to other institutions who are on a path to nurture economic mobility through entrepreneurship.”