See How KC Entrepreneurship Is Growing with KCSourceLink’s Entrepreneur Dashboard
How is KC moving the needle for entrepreneurs? KCSourceLink's Entrepreneur Dashboard offers a glimpse.
With our dashboard, KCSourceLink continually tracks five metrics: density and connectivity, the innovation and talent pipeline and access to capital to see how KC is making progress toward becoming America's most entrepreneurial city. Check back quarterly to see how Kansas City's entrepreneurial efforts are making an impact for our startups and small business owners.
DENSITY AND CONNECTIVITY
> Jump to the Density and Connectivity Dashboard.
What do KC's entrepreneurs look like? KCSourceLink’s Entrepreneur Dashboard Survey reveals:
· Almost 90 percent of KC entrepreneurs saw revenue growth in the past year
· Most KC entrepreneurs used personal savings to finance their startups and businesses
· Most Kansas City firms are creating jobs
· KC entrepreneurs represent a wide range of ages
· Only 24 percent of KC entrepreneurs were seeking outside funding
KCSourceLink began the Entrepreneur Dashboard Survey in 2015. Developed in conjunction with research staff from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the goal of the survey is to get a “snapshot” of what entrepreneurship looks like in the Kansas City region.
KCSourceLink has collected data annually from its client base since its inception in 2003. The 2016 Entrepreneur Dashboard Survey includes those annual survey questions as well as broader questions around sources of capital, connectivity and advisory boards.
Who are KC area entrepreneurs?
A common conception of the entrepreneurial scene is that it’s predominantly young techies. The age distribution of survey respondents was evenly distributed. The largest group was the younger generation between 25–34 year olds with 29 percent, but 67.2 percent of participants were older than 35.
Within the survey, gender of entrepreneurs tipped towards a higher male proportion (Male: 53.7 percent, Female: 47.3 percent ), which contrasts the community composition with a higher female population (male 49.1 percent female 50.9 percent) and labor force composition (Male: 49.4 percent, Female: 50.6 percent). Kansas City entrepreneurs can be considered highly educated with more than 70 percent having attained a post-secondary degree.
What do KC area entrepreneurial firms look like?
The survey suggests that area entrepreneurs are small local businesses that are self-guided and funded. Of KCSourceLink clients, 62.5 percent are in infancy or growth stages of the firm lifecycle. With most companies in the early stages, we see that 86 percent of respondents reported revenue growth. Fourteen percent of respondents were pre-venture, indicating they were consulting with KCSourceLink prior to beginning a business.
Almost 160 of the companies that participated in the survey were actively in business prior to contacting KCSourceLink. Nearly 40 percent of respondents made contact before starting a business with about half going on to start a business at the time of the survey. The survey suggests that area entrepreneurs are locally focused, with 198 of respondents being local businesses. The remaining 100 are active in levels from regional to international.
These companies are small startups. Most employ four or fewer workers, favoring full time workers over part time. Financing reflects the small locally based nature of startups with most bootstrapping or having already raised sufficient capital. These figures mirror national trends. The primary source of this financing is personal savings and credit. Of the financing received 66 percent is locally sourced.
Respondents were also asked about connectivity to area resource providers. The nature of those connections is reflected in the chart below.
INNOVATION AND TALENT PIPELINE
> Jump to the Innovation Dashboard
In 2011, the Kansas City community embarked on journey to become America’s most entrepreneurial city. Three of the areas identified as key drivers toward that goal were:
- developing a pipeline of innovations from local universities and corporations
- growing the entrepreneurship talent base
- telling the story of entrepreneurs
The Innovation and Talent Pipeline tracks all three efforts, cataloging our innovations, keeping a watchful eye on tech postings and hires and keeping a listicle of media mentions about KC entrepreneuership.
KCSourceLink tracks the innovation pipeline through the projects identified in the Whiteboard2Boardroom program. W2B provides a very early look at the kinds of innovations on their way toward commercialization in the Kansas City metro area. (For more information about W2B, go to whiteboard2boardroom.com.)
KCSourceLink also tracks the entrepreneurial talent pool by looking at job postings and hires in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This data is pulled annually by the Mid-America Regional Council.
ACCESS TO CAPITAL
> Jump to Capital Dashboard
Startup and early-stage companies need capital to fuel the fire of growth. Studies in 2012 suggested that Kansas City lacked the capital needed. Published in June 2015, We Create Capital 2015 provided a clearer picture of the funding landscape for emerging and growth businesses in the Kansas City region and an action plan to address the gaps.
Since then, individuals and organizations across the Kansas City region have rallied to improve access to capital for area entrepreneurs. Those results are illustrated inWe Create Capital 2016 and captured through the KCSourceLink Entrepreneur Dashboard.
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