Elevating local community members to lead and excel.
The Elevar Program
Reimagining the systems of leadership and decision-making to be inclusive, innovative, and equitable for all.
Elevar is an emergent leadership development program and social impact fund that provides community investments through grantmaking and program-related investments to emerging Latinx leaders and people of color. Through existing programs and partnerships with local nonprofit organizations, EVCF’s Elevar fund will create the connection point between existing education and leadership training programs, to the resources needed for emerging leaders to make their dreams a reality, while building economic power, and creating a more empowered and socially just community.
Our vision is to collectively build a community that embraces diversity, honors inclusivity, and actively works to change the systems that prevent communities of color from having a voice and leadership roles across all aspects of society. We will listen, learn and collaborate to activate community power, create space for community voice, and give the communities we serve an opportunity to create and implement ideas with, by and for communities of color throughout Eagle County.
Less than 30% of businesses in Eagle County are women owned and only 8% of all businesses are owned by a person of color, and even less for women of color. Even fewer people of color hold leadership roles in businesses, on nonprofit boards, and at decision-making tables within our community. EVCF has identified this gap and a need to create more equitable opportunities for people of color to grow as nonprofit leaders and successful business owners.
Elevar will provide a grant to entrepreneurs in Eagle County to accelerate their businesses to the next level. Entrepreneurs will receive training and support, mentorship, and become a part of a prestigious community of Vail Valley entrepreneurs!
Our goals are to support the community with knowledge, training, and resources to launch a new business – or to take an existing company to the “next level.”
- We will select 5-7 entrepreneurs to receive our first grant.
- Grant size will be up to $5,000, given once. You are eligible to reapply in future years.
- Please note that this grant is only available to Latinx, Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC).
- Applications Open: October 16, 2023
- Applications Close: November 15, 2023
- Semifinalists selected: December 20, 2023
- Semifinalist Interview: Week of January 8, 2024
- Decision on Finalists: By the end of the month- January 2024
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- When will the application go live?
- Applications will go live on October 16th by 5 pm and it will remain live until the 30th of November.
- Is this for me?
- We are looking for early stage entrepreneurs from the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community. “Early stage” means that you are in your initial stages of operation, growth, and product or service development. You may still be refining your concept, conducting market research, and/or building your minimum viable product (MVP).
- Do I need to have revenue already?
- This is not a requirement to receive the grant.
- Early-stage startups usually have limited or no revenue, as you are focused on building a product, gaining initial customers, and establishing your place in the marketplace. If you do have revenue or other types of traction already in place, be sure to tell us in the application!
- How developed should my idea or business be?
- You should have a clear vision of what you are solving and a roadmap of how you will get there. Show us your skills and areas of expertise, and why you are the “right person” to be running this company.
- We encourage you to use our application as much as a thought exercise for you to consider new angles of business development as it is for you to show us your expertise in this area.
- This is not the right time for me. Can I apply next year?
- Elevar operates from a 3-year grant that we hope and expect to renew.
- We expect that this opportunity will be available for years to come!
- What is the time commitment?
- We will meet twice monthly for educational sessions ran by members of the community, and expect to have additional opportunities throughout the months such as company visits, fireside chats, and more.
- Will you take equity in my company?
- What is expected of me in return?
- We seek entrepreneurs who want to make a positive impact in our community! Our primary ask is that you give your best efforts to make your company a reality during and after the development period.
- We also ask that you serve as a mentor for future entrepreneurs once your company is off the ground in order to give back to ELEVAR and EVCF. Pay it forward!
- All selected grantees will be required to go through a background check prior to program participation.
- Can I be involved as a mentor or donor?
- Yes! Consider applying to join the Steering Committee (info below.)
- If you are interested in mentoring, please email Erin at firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you are interested in donating, please reach out to Grace Anshutz, Director of Development & Marketing at email@example.com
Professional development and capital investments through grantmaking.
There are two key components that make up the Elevar program:
Members of the Elevar Steering Committee are identified by local nonprofit organizations and community leaders who have identified leadership potential among people of color or low-income members of our community who have had a lack of access to resources to advance their leadership journey.
- The Elevar Steering Committee members will benefit from community-based peer support through small, tight-knit cohorts, community leader mentorship and other leadership development training in order to give them direct experience on a board and in philanthropic grantmaking.
- The Elevar Steering Committee is comprised of 9-15 members who are responsible for creating an application process, identifying potential grantees, reviewing proposals, and ultimately recommend funding of 5-7 grantees (to be approved by the EVCF board). Elevar Steering Committee members are paid a stipend for participation to create more equitable opportunity to participate in the committee.
Elevar’s Advisory Board brings together diverse representatives of all stakeholders affected by our grantmaking to make funding decisions, the collective expertise, and experiences of the group leads to more effective and equitable grantmaking decisions and increased impact. Thank you to these individuals who have been selected to lead Elevar as Advisory Board members.
- Arturo Zuniga
- Luz Rios
- Simone Lybarger
- Aileen Pagán-Rohwer
- Michelle Collins
- Inés María Amuchástegui
- Marcel Asprilla
- Cecilia Galardo
- Luz Parra
- Cindy Ramos
- Sofia Fecchino
- Deisy Vazquez
2023 Elevar Staff Leads
Less than 30% of businesses in Eagle County are women owned and only 8% of all businesses are owned by a person of color, and even less for women of color. Even fewer people of color hold leadership roles in businesses, on nonprofit boards, and at decision-making tables within our community.
of the population in the USA are Hispanic but just 4 percent of the executive ranks.
of junior managers say they have access to mentorship programs or on-the-job training.
Thank you to our partners who are committed to supporting entrepreneurs building sustainable and impactful businesses in the Eagle Valley community.