KC Cares — About Entrepreneurs

ewhitmore
3 min readMay 8, 2020

As a former New Yorker, I didn’t have, well, any impression of Kansas City when I was growing up. I think I remember the Chiefs being a good football team at one point, but the Mets never played the Royals… for lots of reasons.

That was many years ago, since then I’ve had a few occasions to visit in a few different roles, related to entrepreneurship. And even see a Royals game.

(1 Million Cups Kansas City at last year’s 1 Million Cups Organizers Summit)

More recently, as part of Forward Cities work on ESHIP Communities, I’ve gotten to know not only Gabriel Munoz, the director for our efforts there, but also a few other people and organizations there. When I saw the recent Startland News article on ESHIP Communities Kansas City (from my Forward Cities colleague Megan Shuford) about recommendations from the local council for people and organizations supporting entrepreneurs during this crisis, it made me reflect on some ways the community has continued to grow and embrace its entrepreneurs. It’s a place many cities and communities can learn from.
(Forward Cities is managing the implementation of the ESHIP Communities program as a grantee of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.)

We’ve seen many communities doing some of the council’s suggestions (read the article for more), but a few were new to me — and pretty great:

Help businesses in Black and minority communities obtain proper PPE (regulated masks, gloves and sanitation solutions) to protect their employees and customers. Access is limited to our communities with the greatest need, and the highest reported cases in the city.
Keep a pulse on the funding and grants available to businesses affected by COVID-19 to be able to point people to these resources and share tips on best practices for applications.
Provide direct assistance for strategic planning to prepare existing businesses not as hard hit to adjust to ‘new normals’ and/or direct support for helping existing businesses think through pivoting.

Next to that article when I read it was a neat piece on a KCMO collaboration with Made in KC to make locally developed and made PPE products available through an on-line marketplace at KCPPE.com. It’s an approach I think many cities could adapt for their own.

And finally, for now, a quick shout-out to Startland News itself!

Almost every city with a prominent local startup and entrepreneurial scene has at least one news platform that champions its entrepreneurs — and Startland News has become one of the best. Whether your community already has a great outlet for information and news about entrepreneurs or not, it’s one of the *many* good things going on in Kansas City to look at, learn from and be inspired by.

Are there things your city or community are doing especially well? I’m always glad to see and share more — we can all learn from each other!

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ewhitmore

working together to grow healthier entrepreneurial ecosystems in New Mexico and across the US.