• 800-232-LOWE (5693)
  • info@lowe.org
  • 58220 Decatur Road, Cassopolis, MI 49031



The foundation’s entrepreneurship initiatives are focused on second-stage companies — growth-oriented firms that have moved beyond startup but haven’t yet reached maturity. ​


We leverage our resources by distributing the foundation's programs to second-stage companies through partner organizations who share our values and passion for helping entrepreneurs grow.

The Edward Lowe Foundation focuses on growth-oriented second-stage entrepreneurs because we believe they have the greatest impact on U.S. prosperity. Having moved beyond the startup phase, these business owners have both the intent and capability for continued expansion. From a numbers perspective, second-stage businesses have about 10 to 99 employees and generate $1 million to $50 million in annual revenue.

Significant job creators, these companies only represented 16% of U.S. business establishments in 2022, but generated 38.5% of all jobs, according to YourEconomy.org. Second-stagers often have national or international markets, which bring outside dollars into their communities. And many attract venture-capital dollars, raising investor awareness for a region.

Armed with greater experience and financial bandwidth than startups, second-stage companies are able to expand into new markets and introduce innovations that impact their industries. Their stability and deeper pockets also enable them to provide more diverse, high-quality jobs and better benefits for employees.

And in our experience, second-stagers  are devoted corporate citizens. Some have revitalized blighted areas by building new facilities or renovating existing ones. Others have a strong track record of philanthropy; whether they support social or environmental causes, they are determined to make a difference.

Understanding second-stage challenges is as important as recognizing their contributions, because serving them is drastically different than working with startups or microbusinesses. 

To accelerate success for second-stagers, the foundation has developed programs around peer learning, leadership education and strategic information. We also use our expertise to educate communities and other entrepreneur support organizations about second-stage companies, how to work with them — and how to develop the kind of supportive culture they need to flourish.

Second-stage spotlight​

Craig and Vicki Leuthold
Maryhill Winery: Shifting in a scaling industry
“The Thrive! engagement super-charged me as to what we needed to do to move forward — and gave us new...
“The foundation’s programs wrap together and create a great package. They help shape you as a business owner by putting a lot of tools in your toolbox and building the right relationships to guide you along the way. To me, the Edward Lowe Foundation is the entrepreneur’s Disney World. Every program is a ride, and you want to keep riding the rides. You don’t want to leave.”
— Zach Raley
founder of Utiliserve and Fireserve in Bossier City, Louisiana