Kansas City Is Creating Something Amazing: Here’s How You Can Join InDavid Cawthon
Entrepreneurship is risky and hard (and if you’re doing this thing called “running a business,” you know that). But it doesn’t have to be lonely. And finding the right help shouldn’t be frustrating.
“None of us can become entrepreneurs alone.”
-Reggie Gray, Black Privilege
Reggie is right. Because here’s the thing: We know that entrepreneurs’ success depends on the community they develop, so making those key business connections is vital. The community they build is where they find their first cheerleaders, champions, customers, mentors—and even investors.
And we know entrepreneurs are better when they’re connected—when they have the help, network, resources and connections.
My name is Chanté Keller, and I’m a KCSourceLink Network Navigator. My job requires me to have a deep knowledge of the resources we have right here in the Kansas City community so that when people come to us for help, I can connect them to the best resources for their situation, no matter what stage their business is in. I do this by creating Personal Action Plans for each entrepreneur who asks for help.
That Personal Action Plan is your customized Resource Rail. When you call, email or fill out your request for your Personal Action Plan, I pull the right resources — the ones who can help answer your questions and your challenges — from our network of more than 240 nonprofit organizations that offer support at little to no cost.
Whether you’re starting a business or growing one, whether you’re a tech entrepreneur or a maker, Resource Partners can help you find funding, develop a business plan, strategize for growth and even formulate an exit plan. Just this year, we’ve worked with those Partners to help over 2,500 entrepreneurs or businesses. That doesn’t even include the more than 180,000 users who visited our site last year. Those are just a few accomplishments in entrepreneurship in 2018.
We’re passionate about what we do
Every business and organization has a “why.” In fact, many entrepreneurs shared their “why” in our video.
KC entrepreneurs are astounding. They bring new businesses into the community. They think outside of the box to innovate and create solutions to problems, in turn providing paths to prosperity when there may not have been any. They inspire social change and bring hope to developing areas.
Entrepreneurs change society and strengthen communities.
Entrepreneurs and what they do for our community is KCSourceLink’s why. Because of the solutions, change and hope they create and because they matter to our community and our economy. Did you know that KC startups (defined as companies with fewer than 20 employees) created nearly 60 percent of all net new jobs in Kansas City.
So, yes, entrepreneurs create Kansas City.
KCSourceLink not only connects entrepreneurs to the resources they need to grow and succeed, we also document their progress and our community’s entrepreneurial efforts. We track the number of jobs startups create and the wages they pay, the number and value of equity investments in Kansas City companies, which KC firms are getting funding and the innovations they’re creating in our own KC backyard. And after we collect all those facts and figures, we share them with everyone in our annual We Create KC report.
“We celebrate entrepreneurship here in a way that is probably lost in other cities.”
-Cici Rojas, Tico Productions & Tico Sports
Kansas City takes pride in its entrepreneurs. You can see that in the stories we tell. Here at KCSourceLink, we use our voice and our blog to promote education and inspiration. We create content that addresses frequently asked questions and industry updates. We highlight the success of our entrepreneurs, as you can read in our Entrepreneur in Action series.
And we celebrate entrepreneurship all the time here in Kansas City. Just take a look at a few of the hundreds of events each month that educate, connect and inspire the doers, dreamers, pioneers, innovators and risk takers that make KC so special.
In fact one of the largest celebrations in entrepreneurship is Global Entrepreneurship Week – Kansas City, hosted by KCSourcelink and facilitated by the Kansas City entrepreneurial community. GEW happens during the third week in November and last year offered 170+ events that attracted more than 5,000 attendees.
So what’s it all come down to? Why be an entrepreneur? Well, we asked a few, and you often hear a similar theme:
“I have a desire to make the world better.”
-Catina Taylor, Dreams Consulting
Entrepreneurs aren’t satisfied with the status quo. They’re problem-solvers, game-changers, innovators, pioneers, makers, believers … the list goes on. And those individuals make your city what it is.
Supporting those people is paramount to making Kansas City thrive because even for those of us who aren’t entrepreneurs, we can make a difference and lift up those who are trying to leave the world better than they found it.