KCSourceLink released their fifth annual We Create KC state of entrepreneurship report on Thursday, providing data on Kansas City’s progress toward becoming “America’s most entrepreneurial city.”
The report provides an overview of Kansas city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem including growth of resources for entrepreneurs, access to capital and more.
“We know that the right connections matter to entrepreneurs and that entrepreneurs matter to Kansas City’s economic growth,” said Maria Meyers, founder of KCSourceLink and executive director of the University of Missouri–Kansas City Innovation Center, of which KCSourceLink is a part. “Having the right resource at your back is critical for the survival and growth of Kansas City startups and small businesses.”
KCSourceLink’s mission is to help small businesses grow and prosper by providing easy access to needed services. The organization looks at gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and works with its partners to address those needs, and provides a network of over 240 business-building organizations.
KCSourceLink reported making 9,425 connections via email and their hotline, “which in turn helped the resource network better understand what entrepreneurs need, how the community wants to engage with KC entrepreneurship and where to leverage collaborations to better fill gaps in services.”
Those connections helped propel $540 million in startup investment in 2017, a 290 percent increase in access to capital in the past five years, and an average of 16,376 jobs created annually by Kansas City first-time employers.
“We believe that what gets measured gets prioritized,” said Meyers. “Our entrepreneurs solve problems, disrupt industries, and create jobs. To help them do that and to access the resources they need, we continue to measure the vitality and sustainability of our entrepreneurial ecosystem and work collaboratively with our full network to strengthen our entrepreneurial infrastructure.”
The full We Create KC report also includes a 15-year timeline of Kansas City’s entrepreneurial infrastructure, a numeric breakdown of the four types of entrepreneurs who contribute to the Kansas City economy, a list of Kansas City companies to watch based on funding in 2016 and 2017, and more.