Applications are now closed for the 2024 Program.

Do you have a business idea and don’t know where to start? Have you started but need help to grow? Beyond Housing’s Biz Smart Start Program could be for you!

Ten residents were invited to win $1,000 cash and participate in the program. The goal is to create a safe place for them to learn!

What Can They Get?

  • $1,000 Cash award
  • The opportunity to win additional cash awards
  • Coaching and mentorship to help you overcome challenges
  • Support that meets you where you’re at
  • Resources from industry experts
  • Food and childcare provided

Program Eligibility:

  • You must reside in the 24:1 Community (the municipalities within the Normandy school district)
  • Businesses and business ideas from all industries are welcome
  • Priority is given to minorities, women, disabled individuals, and others from under-represented groups
  • You must be committed and passionate
  • We’re seeking early-stage ventures. Do you have an idea and don’t know where to start? Have you started but need help to grow? Apply today!  

If you have any questions about the program or application process, please contact Tabatha Kittrell at

The program meets once a week for 12 weeks. In the end, participants will get the opportunity to compete Shark Tank-style to win more cash!

Award Levels:

1st Place – $3,000
2nd Place – $2,000
3rd Place – $1,000

Meet our Founding Members from 2023!

These founding members of the Biz Smart Start Program wrapped up their 12-week sessions on Wednesday, July 26, 2023. We are so proud of their hard work and are happy to have their small businesses thriving the the 24:1!

  • Tabatha Kittrell, Beyond Housing Economic Development Manager
  • Terence Payton, Payton Cleaning Systems
  • Sandra Abron, MLT Notary & Business Services
  • Demaris Ridgell, D’s Delectable BBQ & Catering
  • Loria Simms, Craft Space
  • Dan Lauer, Inventor of Water Babies & Program Facilitator
  • Michelle Wilson, Moisture3
  • Michael Butler, Director of Operations at UMSL Accelerate & Program Facilitator
  • Felicia McRoberts, Purposed for Your Home Health
  • Darien Spears, TruVision
  • Latricia SanNicolas, Maccabees Family Dog Treat Barkery
  • Chris Krehmeyer, Beyond Housing CEO
  • Michelle Byrd, Tender Love & Tresses