ST. LOUIS (KMOX) -- Entrepreneurship is a classic "American dream" path to success, but do women and people of color have equitable access to, for instance, venture capital funds?
The St. Louis Equity in Entrepreneurship Collective, which was launched by BioSTL, is doing an equity audit.
Executive Director La Shana Lewis says the fundamentals can often be a stumbling block for start-ups founders.
She says black and brown founders "sometimes can't even get into these great accelerators and things of that nature to even know how to formulate things."
That why she says the Equity in Entrepreneurship Collective is becoming more active, including hiring staff for the first time.
Lewis encourages founders to get over both internal and external doubts.
"You have to have confidence in yourself -- that you developed this idea because you knew there was a need."
She says the Silicon Valley ideal of "celebrating failure" isn't really possible for people without a safety net.