Celebrate Black History Month with 1 Million Cups Kansas City

Celebrate Black History Month with 1 Million Cups Kansas City
Black business ownership is on the way up. Between 2007 and 2012, the number of Black-owned firms in the United States grew by 34.5 percent. During that same time period, the total number of firms only grew by 2 percent. What better time to celebrate the Black founders making Kansas City better and more entrepreneurial than during Black History Month?

To do just that, KCSourceLink teamed up with 1 Million Cups Kansas City (#1MCKC), a weekly entrepreneurial showcase and networking event hosted at the Kauffman Foundation. Each week in February, Black founders present about their businesses and receive feedback from Black experts and the community.

You still have opportunities to join in on the month-long celebration. Here’s the rest of the schedule, each Wednesday, 9 a.m.at the Kauffman Foundation:

Meet the Black Founders Taking the #1MCKC Stage

February 8

Patricia Mcreary, Margaret’s Place Senior Recreation and Wellness Center: Their mission is to offer a clean, safe, secure and fun senior center that encourages activities, socialization, independence and enhanced community fellowship 

Jaimie and John Tolbert, Popcorn Heaven: A family-owned gourmet popcorn shop located in the heart of the Westport District of Kansas City, serving over 50 divinely delicious flavors all made in store.

Experts: Burton Kelso, Integral; Brandon Simpson, Jazzy B’s. 

February 14

Cristina Betts, MD HomeCare: MD HomeCare is a primary care practice that specializes in house calls to home-bound patients. Read about Cristina’s plan to scale MD HomeCare.

Chris Evans, T-Shirt King, Inc.: T-Shirt King provides the perfect forum of expression through customized products. The team is committed to delivering creative designs, innovative products and superior service. 

Experts: Thalia Cherry, Cherry Sports; Consuella McCain, Turner Construction Co. 

February 21

Hakima Payne, Uzazi Village: A nonprofit dedicated to improving health inequities in the community, with models of care that can be community supported and sustained, as well as replicated throughout the country.

Abdul Yahaya, Local Legends Gaming: A mobile video game studio, great for parties, community events schools and much more. Game on!

Experts: Eze Redwood, Twenty30 CEO; Shanita Bryant, Magnolia’s on the Move

February 28

Eleanor Lisbon, ExhaleKC: A physician-led boutique fitness studio located at Plexpod Westport Commons in midtown Kansas City.

Karetz Marcel, We Are R.A.P. (Real and Positive): A Kansas City-based hip hop education program that teaches student to express themselves while learning trades in the music industry.

Experts: Joseph Thomas, 180V Salon; Adrienne Haynes, SEED Law and Multicultural Business Coalition.

We are topping off the month with an extra special evening event on Wednesday, February 28, from 6-8 p.m., also at the Kauffman Foundation. The evening’s celebration is free and no RSVP is required. The evening begins with a presentation from a Black founder followed by a #1MCKC alumni panel, plus a Black-owned small business fair.

Meet the Team behind 1MCKC’s Black History Month Celebration

Each of these organizations is in the business of making KC’s startup community stronger through inclusivity. If that’s your passion as well, you should definitely add them to your network.

Community Organizers, 1 Million Cups Kansas City

The #1MCKC community organizers are all volunteers: Courtney Windholz, Nicole Bussey, Kaitlyn Troske, Jon Fizette, Tyler Prince, Billy Hupp and Kyle J Smith.

Davin Gordon, business development and program coordinator at AltCap.

AltCap is a catalyst for investments in Kansas City, Missouri’s low- to moderate-income communities. They use innovative financing products, targeted economic development programming and the development of strategic partnerships to promote economic growth and empowerment.

Catina Taylor, founder of DREAMS KC.

DREAMS KC is a whole child centered K-12 school that focuses on developing the personal, professional, civic and entrepreneurial competencies of our students through the use of a generative project based learning curriculum.

Leslie Walton, network supporter at KCSourceLink.

You probably know us, but just in case: KCSourceLink is your connection to Kansas City entrepreneurship. We connect the individuals, organizations and institutions that support entrepreneurship to one another and the community at large, all to grow a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in Kansas City.

Adrienne Haynes, founder of the Multicultural Business Coalition.

The Multicultural Business Coalition is a nonprofit collective of Kansas City-based organizations that were created to encourage and support a healthy multicultural business community.

Rebecca Dove, founder of Pennez.

Pennez means to think, empowering children to think as they read. They support children and educators by identifying wordsmiths, curating diverse stories, developing curricula and creating innovative software.

Quest Moffat, ambassador of Project United Knowledge (UK).

Project UK is a product development firm that serves minority and underserved entrepreneurs to create their technological products. They drive social, environmental and economic impact by incubating and accelerating ventures that have the potential to solve the community’s most pressing issues.

Darryl Answer, community health and wellness coordinator at the Urban Neighborhood Initiative.

The Urban Neighborhood Initiative is a nonprofit established to revitalize neighborhoods in Kansas City’s urban core (from 18th Street to 52nd Street and from Troost Avenue to Prospect Avenue), focusing on health and safety, education and prosperity for generations to come.

Join us at 1 Million Cups to celebrate Black History Month

#1MCKC is every Wednesday, 9 a.m.at the Kauffman Foundation (4801 Rockhill Road). It’s always free and open to the public. #1MCKC is a great opportunity to build your network in Kansas City’s startup community and learn from presenting entrepreneurs on what it really takes to start a business and keep it going.

If you’re ready to grow your business, tell us where you are now and we will send you your Personalized Action Plan featuring the support you need to keep it growing.  

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