New Spark Tank Venture to Help Ferguson Entrepreneurs


Civil Righteousness partners with Benedictine College and Premier Business Brokers to continue community empowerment efforts in Ferguson, MO.

A new venture from Benedictine College will provide free training and assistance to entrepreneurs in an effort to boost economic/community empowerment in Ferguson.

…we (Ferguson) are ready for a rebirth…I have high expectations for the potential that will be realized and the lives that will be transformed through entrepreneurship.

— Jonathan Tremaine Thomas, Founder/CEO/Chairman-Civil Righteousness

FERGUSON, MO, USA, Aug 22, 2022 / — A new business in Ferguson will provide training and assistance to area entrepreneurs in an effort to spur economic development. Spark Tank – Ferguson, a new pilot program from the Benedictine College Business Schoolbased in Atchison, Kansas, brings together faculty and staff from the Thompson Center for Integrity in Finance and Economics and its Cray Center for Entrepreneurial Services with local partners. Civil rightbased in Ferguson, and Top notch trading brokers, based in St. Louis. The group has developed a website,, and plans to begin soliciting entrepreneurs, mentors and Spark Tank team members in August.

“The resilience of the Ferguson community has been tested like no other in the past eight years,” said Jonathan Thomas, President and CEO of Civil Righteousness. “Today we are poised for a rebirth because of the wealth of talent here and our shared commitment to overcoming the challenges of yesterday. I have high expectations for the potential that will be realized and the lives that will be transformed. through entrepreneurship.

The program has three phases. After the application period, Phase 1 consists of a six-month training provided by the faculty of the Benedictine College School of Business, which will facilitate learning about entrepreneurship and starting a business. This will include content on lifestyle, business modeling, market research, sales channels, financial analysis, and capital allocation, among other topics.

Phase 2 is the pitch event, taking place in Ferguson in April 2023. Entrepreneurs will pitch their business pitches to community members, media and potential investors. Business professionals interested in being part of the entrepreneur’s “Spark Team” will also be present.

Phase 3 begins the day after the pitch event, when entrepreneurs begin the process of “drafting” professionals for their teams. These professionals (marketing, accounting, sales, engineering, etc.) will become full-time, part-time, or volunteer members of the startup and help bring the entrepreneur’s idea to fruition.

Premier Business Brokers is working to secure a location that will act as a business incubator where entrepreneurs and their Spark teams can share resources such as desks, phones, computers, etc. The incubator space is currently underway and the community hopes to have it up and running by April 2023, following the pitch event and the Spark team draft.

“We are thrilled to work with Civil Righteousness and Premier Business Brokers on our first Spark Tank program,” said Dave Geenens, businessman, author, associate professor and director of Benedictine’s Thompson Center. “We truly believe this can make a real difference at Ferguson and it aligns perfectly with the college’s new strategic plan to transform culture in America.”

Jameelah Rheaves
Civil right
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Could Ferguson, Missouri be the dream location for new start-ups?


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