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
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Five ways to celebrate National Small Business Week in Kansas City

5 Ways to Celebrate National Small Business Week in Kansas City

Five ways to celebrate National Small Business Week in Kansas City

Have you hugged an entrepreneur today? If you haven’t gotten around to it yet, don’t worry: you have seven entire days to celebrate and appreciate Kansas City entrepreneurs during National Small Business Week, April 30 to May 6.

Since 1963, this annual event sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recognizes the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs and small business owners across the nation.

If you’re not really into hugging, but you are into entrepreneurs, there are a lot of other opportunities to show love to the business owners who make hires in Kansas City (and create culture, solve problems, provide opportunity, attract citizens . . .and so much more).  

The week’ll be over before you know it, so don’t wait. Make a promise to yourself right now that you will do at least one thing from  this list to let Kansas City entrepreneurs know that you’re a big fan and want to see their businesses succeed:

1. Get to know Kansas City entrepreneurs and the Resource Network that supports them

Here are a few events from our comprehensive business calendar where you can build your network and get to know fellow entrepreneurs (Note: you know we were mostly kidding about that hugging thing, right? Being overly comfortable is not recommended; being helpful and fun is).

Head to Union Station to fraternize with some of our faves at the Multicultural Business Coalition Happy Hour: Monday, May 1, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Wanna hang out with federal, state, city and large corporate contractors? Head to the Kansas City Small Business Networking Event: Tuesday, May 2, 7:30 – 9 a.m.

Join the Liberty Area Chamber of Commerce and meet other business owners, super fast, at the Speed Networking Event: Wednesday, May 3, 5 – 7:30 p.m.

Pitch your small business for the chance to win $5,000 at the UPS Store’s Small Biz Salute: Kansas City on Wednesday, May 10, 6 – 8 p.m. (show up at 5 p.m. if you want to pitch)

2. Tune into a free webinar hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration (and some pretty sweet partners)

There’s no better way to celebrate entrepreneurship than by getting your learn on. Already an expert on these topics? Send the links to a friend.

See what’s on the horizon for the good ol’ U.S. of A.’s markets and jobs in the U.S. Economic Outlook and Its Impact on Small Businesses: Tuesday, May 2, 1 – 2 p.m.

5 Fabulous Habits of Local Business Champions is all about putting your best foot forward on the Internet (aka, where your customers are): Wednesday, May 3, 1 –2 p.m.

There’s no point in having a fancy website if no one can find you. Learn the basics of search engine optimization in Grow Your Business Online: Wednesday, May 3, 3 – 4 p.m.

Join Salesforce to hear how their top performing businesses are operating in the Future of Small Business Innovation: Thursday, May 4, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

The title says it all—How to Write Your Email Content in 15 Minutes or Less. Sign up and save time: Thursday, May 4, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Access a veritable treasure map of grants, contracts, government programs and private sector resources in Find the Hidden Money in America: Thursday, May 4, 4 – 5 p.m.

3. Read and share the Kansas City state of entrepreneurship report: We Create KC

What better way to celebrate local business owners than nerding out on all things Kansas City entrepreneurship with this year’s We Create KC report.

How is Kansas City progressing on its goal to be America’s most entrepreneurial city? Here’s a taste from the report:

  • Starts: On average, 4,400 KC startups hire their first employee each year. 4,679 KC startups hired their first-employees in 2015, with those in service/education/administration-related industries ranking highest.

  • Capital: KC funding organizations collectively reported a 290 percent increase in available capital for early-stage entrepreneurs, for a total of $792 million in identified capital available to early-stage entrepreneurs.

  • Innovation Pipeline: Whiteboard2Boardroom provides a snapshot of and access to more than 200 next-gen, homegrown technologies, ready entrepreneurial leadership and commercialization.

To skim the report, check out this blog post.

4. Pull out your wallet and #ShopLocalKC

Entrepreneurs love hugs (that’s still a joke, mostly), but they love money even more. And who can blame them? At the end of the day, you can’t run a business without revenue and customers. Which means if you say you want local entrepreneurs to thrive, you’d better put your money where your mouth is (or groove, fashion or pet is).

We’ve made supporting Kansas City retailers easier than ever by putting a bunch of them in one place. Clothes, restaurants, home goods, gym—it’s all there and so much more. Visit the #ShopLocalKC map now to keep your money in the local economy:

Local shops and businesses in Kansas City

5. Grow your business in ScaleUP! KC (or recommend a friend)

Applications are now open for the sixth cohort of ScaleUP! Kansas City, an elite program of curriculum, coaching and peer community that helps select KC businesses grow.

To date, 77 homegrown Kansas City businesses have entered the program, with results, as you can read in the link above, that include facility expansions, new hires, new financing, increased sales and expanded markets.

ScaleUP! is now recruiting its next select group of 15 small business owners who will be immersed in four months of courses and collisions that will change the trajectory of their businesses.

Applicants must:

  • Lead a company that has been in business for at least 2 years

  • Generate annual sales in excess of $150K

  • Have a strong market than can generate more than $1 million in sales

ScaleUP! KC, valued at thousands per participant, is offered at no-cost  thanks to generous funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration; what a great way to celebrate entrepreneurs!

Here’s a bonus because we’re so excited about National Small Business Week:

6. Give us a call at 816-235-6500  

What better week to take charge of your entrepreneurial journey than National Small Business Week. Give us a call now at 816-235-6500, tell us what you need to take the next step for your business, and we’ll hook you up with the resources you need.   


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