Develop an Entrepreneurial Mindset

Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur in Kansas City?

So you think you want to be an entrepreneur.

You probably have a lot questions: What do I need to get started? What does entrepreneurship look like in Kansas City? And what does it take to be an entrepreneur? Do I have what it takes?

What makes an entrepreneur an entrepreneur?

At its core, a business is really just a repeatable process of solving problems for other people. The problem just has to be big enough that customers and clients will pay for your product or service. If you’re an entrepreneur, really all that means is that you’re a problem solver.

And it takes some drive and a whole lot of other qualities to push your business idea toward success. Did you know that about half of all small businesses fail in the first five years? Did you know that about 70 percent of those businesses fail because of cash problems?

So in addition to being a creative person who sees opportunities and has the drive to persevere and navigate those rough spots when things get tough, you have to keep the business side of things in mind, too. Keeping things like financials, cash flow, bookkeeping, etc., in focus, in addition to your business goals, is key for success.

Am I an entrepreneur?

Many entrepreneurs tend to have these eight qualities:

1. Initiative and Self-Reliance

Are you a self-starter who can push yourself to get things done?

2. Flexibility and Adaptation

Are you able and willing to change the course of your business when necessary?

3. Communication and Collaboration

Can you convey your ideas or pitches clearly and concisely to your target audience, investors, etc. and persuade them to work with you or support your product or service?

4. Creativity and Innovation

Can you use your creativity to formulate a creative business idea … and use that creativity to solve problems without a clear structure?

5. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Can you examine a problem from multiple perspectives and devise a solution of your own for the best outcome?

6. Looking to the Future

Are you able to look to the future of your business with optimism and are willing to learn many things along the way to set your business up for success?

7. Recognizing Opportunity

Are you able to keep your eyes and ears open and spot new opportunities to move your business forward?

8. Comfortable with Risk

Are you comfortable with making a tough choice to move your business forward, even if there’s risk involved?

Do you think you have what it takes to be a small business owner? If so, you don’t have to do this alone, and Kansas City is a great place to test the waters.

What does entrepreneurship in Kansas City look like?

Although the news media tends to cover a slew of tech startups, in Kansas City, there are many other types of businesses who make up other pieces of the entrepreneurial pie and contribute to the more than 14,000 jobs that KC startups create every year:

  • 74 percent are microentrepreneurs: Those are very small or online business that might only need one person to run and are often based at a home.
  • 24 percent are “Main Street” brick-and-mortar businesses. These are mom and pop shops, restaurants, salons, breweries, stores, etc.
  • 1 percent are innovation-led businesses that are categorized as tech or high-growth companies.
  • 1 percent are second-stage business: These are established operations poised for growth.

Entrepreneurs in the Kansas City metro stretch across 18 counties in Missouri and Kansas and come from a variety of diverse backgrounds and experiences.

And entrepreneurs in KC aren’t just working in their businesses. They attend events throughout the metro that teach them about key business concepts and strategies and help connect them with other entrepreneurs, investors and over 240 nonprofit organizations in Kansas City that exist to help entrepreneurs on their journey.

How Do I Get an Entrepreneurial Mindset?

A mindset is really just the underlying beliefs and assumptions you make that influence how you act. The great thing is a mindset is malleable; you can shape and change the way your brain is programmed so you can think like an entrepreneur.

Hop the Resource Rail

Before you set out on your journey, have a map for the road ahead. We’ve mapped the more than 240 nonprofit Resource Partner organizations in Kansas City that can help start, grow and fund your business. To develop your entrepreneurial mindset, your first stop on the Resource Rail℠ should be “Feasibility.”

Not Sure Where to Start? Get Your (Free) Personal Action Plan

Call us at 816-235-6500 or tell us a bit about what you need, and we’ll craft your very own (totally doable) action plan that’ll show you exactly whom in Kansas City you can contact to move your business or nonprofit forward. All of our services are free.

Take a Class

Check out Kansas City’s most comprehensive calendar for small businesses. Peruse tons of events each month that can help your business and connect you with other like-minded entrepreneurs in KC. Take a class (many are free or at a reduced cost) to get the skills you need for success.

Learn from Those Who’ve Been There, Done That

And stay in the know with helpful advice from experts, read some inspirational stories about KC entrepreneurs’ journeys and get a curated list of key events in the metro that’ll help your business. It’s all here in our monthly newsletter.

A business coach from the Small Business Development Center at the University of Missouri – Kansas City and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship provided insight for this guide.

Determination, Incorporated

Determination, Incorporated is a nonprofit based in the Kansas City metro that creates a pathway to opportunity for formerly incarcerated people through entrepreneurship.

Specializes in: Business Plan Consulting, Development and Review

Kansas Small Business Development Center at KU (SBDC)

The Kansas Small Business Development Center at the University of Kansas provides free and confidential individual advising to small business owners, managers and prospective owners. The center can work with any company that fits into the Small Business Administration's definition of a "small business."

Specializes in: Business Plan Consulting, Development and Review

San Luis Marketing Agency

A video and marketing agency. We offer a complete range of marketing and sales services to businesses of all sizes, individuals, and nonprofits. So you can focus on working, creating, and dreaming.

Specializes in: Business Plan Consulting, Development and Review

The Black MasterMind Group Charitable Foundation

The Black MasterMind Group Charitable Foundation is designed to create strategies to help the Black entrepreneurial community start, stabilize, sustain and scale businesses. It educates, trains, coaches, mentors, develops and provides funding initiatives

Specializes in: Business Plan Consulting, Development and Review

The Entrepreneur's Source

I provide no cost education, awareness and discovery services to people who are in career transition and have an interest in exploring entrepreneurship as a potential career path or adding passive streams of income to their existing investment or bus

Specializes in: Business Plan Consulting, Development and Review

The Toolbox: Small Business Resource Center

The Toolbox: Small Business Resource Center is the go-to resource for everything small business in Wyandotte County, Kansas. All services are offered at no cost to local residents and businesses. The Toolbox provides support with planning, registering, funding, operating and growing your business through private one-on-one small business coaching.

Specializes in: Business Plan Consulting, Development and Review

Better Business Bureau of Greater Kansas City

Better Business Bureau of Greater Kansas City's mission to promote trust in the marketplace has made the organization a business leader since 1916. BBB sets standards for marketplace trust, celebrates business role models, calls out substandard marketplace behavior and creates a community of trustworthy businesses and charities

Bloch Consulting Lab at UMKC

The Bloch Consulting Lab offers pro-bono consulting to new ventures and small businesses led by founders from underserved Kansas City communities.

City of Excelsior Springs, MO - Community Development Department

The City of Excelsior Springs’ Community Development Department assists businesses in locating, expanding and moving to the community. Find more information, visit or email Melinda Mehaffy, economic development director, at [email protected].

City of Richmond, MO - Economic Development Department

The mission of the Richmond Department of Economic Development is to promote and support business and economic development within the community of Richmond, Missouri.


DreamSpring is a nonprofit community lender providing small business loans and lines of credit, resources and guidance.

Gardner Chamber of Commerce

The Gardner Chamber of Commerce provides business assistance, networking opportunities and other services for businesses operating or wishing to operate in the Kansas towns of Gardner, Edgerton or New Century.

Grain Valley Partnership

The Grain Valley Chamber Partnership is dedicated to being the primary advocate for businesses in the Grain Valley, Missouri, area by promoting economic development, providing educational resources and partnering with our members to improve the business environment and community image.


GUILDit spurs Kansas City artists and entrepreneurs. The organization’s mission is to create communities around best business practices in the way of forums, panels, lectures and alike programming.

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City is dedicated to the creation, advancement, promotion and development of economic opportunities within the Hispanic market and business community.

Hispanic Economic Development Corporation of Greater Kansas City

The Hispanic Economic Development Corporation (HEDC) is dedicated to improving the lives of Latinos within the greater Kansas City. HEDC achieves this through business development and economic and community wealth creation initiatives.

Independence Economic Development Council

The Independence, Missouri Economic Development Council is a nonprofit, public/private partnership, which was established in 1983 for the purpose of supporting and enhancing the economic growth of Independence.

Johnson County Missouri Economic Development Corporation (JCEDC)

The Johnson County, Missouri, Economic Development Corporation (JCEDC) provides confidential one-on-one business assistance, microloan funds, financing options and incentives for new and existing businesses, small to large, for all Johnson County, Missouri.

K-State Technology Development Institute (TDI)

The Technology Development Institute provides a variety of resources and services through collaborative engineering and business development partnerships to advance technologies, people and companies.

Kansas City Area Transportation Authority

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority connects people to opportunities through safe, reliable public transportation. KCATA is a bi-state agency charged with serving the transportation and development needs of the Kansas City region.

Kansas Small Business Development Center at JCCC (SBDC)

The Kansas Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Johnson County Community College provides business assistance to aspiring and existing small business owners in Johnson, Miami and Wyandotte counties in Kansas through low cost training events and no-charge one-on-one business counseling.

KU Innovation Park

KU Innovation Park, with locations at both the University of Kansas Lawrence Campus and Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas, is the largest incubator system in the state. It is comprised of three separate facilities totaling approximately 90,000 square feet of wet lab, office space and shared work spaces.

Mid-America Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (TAAC)

The Mid-America Trade Adjustment Assistance Center assists domestic manufacturers negatively impacted by import competition by providing cost share funding to implement improvement projects to make a business more globally competitive.

Mid-Continent Public Library Culinary Center

The Mid-Continent Public Library Culinary Center is a destination and resource for anyone interested in learning more about food and culinary entrepreneurship. Housed in the Green Hills Library Center, the Culinary Center features a teaching and demonstration kitchen and two shared commercial kitchens for use by startup food businesses.

Missouri Enterprise, Kansas City and Northwest Missouri

Missouri Enterprise is a dedicated manufacturing expert and your partner to strengthen and grow your company. The organization assists manufacturers with workforce development, technology, lean principles, exporting, quality, food safety and more.

Missouri SBDC at Northwest Missouri State University - St. Joseph

The SBTDC offers confidential, one-on-one counseling, coaching and training to existing businesses and emerging business owners.

Missouri SBDC at University of Missouri Kansas City

Missouri SBDC at UMKC is OPEN for business; both virtually and in-person for our trainings and counseling. Contact us at [email protected] to talk how we can help you SOAR with your entrepreneurial journey

Mo-Kan Regional Council

MO-KAN Development Inc. provides loan programs to small businesses in Kansas and Missouri.

Northland CAPS

Northland CAPS students use business standard software, equipment and employer mentorship to solve real world problems for entrepreneurs and business owners.

Piper School District

We're looking to produce client projects for area businesses through our various academies.
If your organization has a problem, or a project that’s No. 10 on your “to do” list, give it to our students. They're ready for real world learning.

Prospect Business Association

Prospect Business Association's Business Development Services Program provides hands-on assistance and back-office support services to start, scale and sustain companies based on their unique needs.


The Kansas City SCORE Chapter is comprised of more than 70 volunteers who provide free mentoring and workshops to entrepreneurs. Volunteers are professionals with time-tested knowledge and experience in almost every industry.


VetBiz is dedicated to helping U.S. veterans and military families achieve their dream of owning a business by transitioning military skills to business success through training, counseling and mentorship.

Well Well Marketing

Our vision is to make the world healthier by promoting health and wellness businesses. We provide holistic marketing to holistic brands.


Whiteboard2Boardroom connects entrepreneurs and established businesses to technologies available for licensing at institutions of higher education, hospitals and corporations in the bi-state region to stimulate applied research, leverage innovation i

Women's Business Center of Kansas City

The Women’s Business Center provides training, mentoring, networking opportunities and business consulting to help women start and grow their businesses.


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