UMKC Innovation Center partners with the university and the community to spark and sustain entrepreneurial efforts within our region and across the country.

KCSourceLink connects KC entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

MOSourceLink connects Missouri entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

Whiteboard2Boardroom connects entrepreneurs and businesses to technologies available for licensing.

Digital Sandbox KC provides early-stage proof-of-concept support for digital products.

Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center provides technical assistance to startup and existing businesses.

ScaleUP! Kansas City helps businesses with revenues around $200K scale toward their first $1 million.

Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers helps local businesses obtain government contracts.

KCInvestED helps investors learn more about investing in KC startups.

SourceLink® helps communities nationwide build vibrant and vital entrepreneurial ecosystems.
UMKC Innovation Center
UMKC Innovation Center
Battle of the Brands

Meet the Bracket: 16 of Kansas City's Microenterprises

Battle of the BrandsSome entrepreneurs lead epic enterprises, ready conquer the world with a billion dollar idea. Others are more, well, modest, just a few employees, often self-financed with just a few thousand dollars. And then there’s everything in between.

Which is a good thing, because the Kansas City economy is based on many different kinds of businesses—microenterprises and second stage firms, Main Street businesses and innovation-led enterprises—and each play a different role in creating our city’s character and defining our economy.

(Read more about the four types of entrepreneurship from Maria Meyers, our leader and director of the UMKC Innovation Center.)

What Is a Microenterprise?

By actual and approved industry definition, microenterprises are businesses that require less than $35,000 in capitalization to start. These lifestyle businesses are typically sole proprietorships and companies with fewer than five employees.

The “Coaches” of Kansas City Microenterprises

With 240+ Resource Partners in the KCSourceLink network, navigating the wide expanse of business-building resources can be daunting, to be sure. (Unless, of course, you  have a map, or shall we say, a Resource Rail?) Over the past 10 years, we’ve mapped (again, literally) and categorized entrepreneur support organizations across the 18-county Kansas City region. And this is what we’ve found: support organizations cluster, just like the businesses they serve.

Microenterprises often find the help they need to launch and grow through:

  • Small Business Development Centers (SBA)
  • Online library and trainings
  • Workforce Development Offices
  • Some Social Services Agencies
  • Micro-lenders
  • Women’s Business Centers

Our Resource Navigator helps you find, filter and map the right matches for your microenterprise based on your need, your business stage and/or your location.

Meet the Microenterprises in the Battle of the Brands

Out of companies’ nominations, Kansas City chose 16 microenterprises to duke it out in this year’s Battle of the Brands. Only two of these companies—KC Cool and Paw Wash—have battled before, and KC Cool is back to defend its Microenterprise crown and possibly take another tango with the big prize.

Here are the contenders—and quick links to learn more about them on their own websites and connect with them on Facebook and Twitter:

Ampersand Design Studio
Facebook: AmpersandDesignStudioKC
Twitter: @AmpersandStudio
Instagram: @AmpersandStudio

Aunt Christy's Country Kitchen
Facebook: auntchristyscountrykitchen
Twitter: @Aunt_Christys
Instagram: @auntchristyscountrykitchen

Facebook: bonfirespacekc

Chef Kansas City
Facebook: chefkansascity
Twitter: chefkansascity

The Funnel Cake Truck

Granola Jones
Instagram: @GranolaJones

Hang Ups in KC
Facebook: hangupsinkc
Twitter: @hangupsinkc
Instagram: @hangupsinkc

Julie Cortés Copywriter

KC Cool
Facebook: KCCool11

Loyalty KC       
Facebook: loyaltykc
Twitter: @loyaltykc
Instagram: @loyalty_kc

Messner Family Farm
Facebook: MessnerFamilyFarm
Instagram: @messnerfamilyfarm

Nuggets of Goodness               
Facebook: NuggetsOfGoodness
Twitter: @nuggetygoodness

The Paw Wash
Facebook: dogpawwash
Twitter: @the_paw_wash
Instagram: @the_paw_wash

The Photo Bus
Facebook: ThePhotoBusKC
Twitter: @ThePhotoBusKC
Instagram: @thephotobuskc

Three Trails, LLC
Facebook: ThreeTrails

Woo Digital Marketing
Facebook: Woo-Digital-Marketing
Twitter: Woodigitalkc

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