3 Surprising Cities for Small Business Success
Large companies that have made Kansas City their home include Sprint(S) , H&R Block(HRB) and Hallmark. It also is home to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, with assets of $2 billion devoted to entrepreneurism and education. The foundation was established in 1966 by pharmaceutical entrepreneur Ewing Kauffman. Kauffman wanted the foundation to help young people get a quality education and recognize enterprise and individual talent as a way to spur the economy.
As a result of the Kaufman history, "We feel like we have a particularly strong claim to that and we have the assets to make that a reality," says Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Jim Heeter. "This is a city that is built on entrepreneurism."
Two years ago, the Chamber of Commerce reached out to the community to solicit ideas on how to better the city's community and create economic growth and jobs. After 182 ideas were submitted, the Chamber of Commerce announced in September 2011 the "Big 5 Ideas." Making Greater Kansas City the number one region in which to start and grow a business was third on the Big 5 list.
To expand its entrepreneurial roots, the first phase of the Big 5 initiative was to bring awareness to the community of the overall initiative and to survey the community on what assets it already had and what was needed. This phase was completed in June and commemorated by a 10-day celebration of entrepreneurs.
"We wanted to make a thorough inventory
The next phase will gather those resources into a one-stop online shop for business owners. Heeter expects the website to be completed in the next few months.
One of the most exciting initiatives to come to Kansas City is the rollout of Google Fiber.
in late July, Google(GOOG) announced that it had chosen the Kansas City area to launch its broadband Internet service, making Kansas City the first area where Google's ultra-high speed Internet service would be available.