Telling Kansas City’s Entrepreneurial Story

Kansas City is abuzz with entrepreneurial activity. Historically, it always has been. The last few years, though, have seen a renewed entrepreneurial energy that’s catapulted Kansas City into the national spotlight.

At Thinking Bigger Business Media, we ask ourselves every day how to best capture Kansas City’s entrepreneurial story, and three things come up consistently.

First, there’s no one way to tell the story. There are so many players, programs, events, and entrepreneurs at various stages of growth for any one media outlet or platform to get its arms around. But the good news is that there are more coverage sources today than there were in 1991 when our magazine was the only one exclusively covering entrepreneurs and small businesses. Today, all of us must play a role in the story telling—from traditional and online media, to resource providers that produce monthly newsletters, to corporations that publicly acknowledge the successes of their small business vendors. And each of you who attend business events also play a role, and even have a responsibility, to post to social media and share the stories as they unfold in real time.

Second, it’s important to keep in mind that we can’t tell the story by focusing on one group in the ecosystem to the exclusion of others. Granted, some businesses may generate more interest, some owners may exude more charisma, and some may have more well-established PR machines. Still, our entrepreneurial ecosystem is a collection of all different kinds of entrepreneurial “species,” if you will—startups, traditional businesses, second-stage companies, corporations, resource providers and others—and no one of them is more important to the ecosystem than another.

Finally, in the telling of the story, we must aim for providing more than visibility. We must strive to connect the various segments of the ecosystem so they can work with and learn from each other. The challenges and failures that occur in business building are as much a powerful and important part of the story as the successes. Traditional businesses would do well to pay attention to what’s occurring in the startup community – those businesses may be their next customers. Additionally, a startup’s way of approaching challenges may be different than that of a traditional business, sparking the traditional business to try something that could revitalize their business. Likewise, startups can learn from the practical blocking and tackling experiences that the owner of a more established, traditional business could provide. But these dialogues can’t take place unless part of the storytelling includes introductions across the ecosystem. Only then will the true growth occur that will allow us to write the next chapter of Kansas City’s entrepreneurial story.


About Smart Companies Thinking Bigger®

Kelly Scanlon is the owner and publisher of Thinking Bigger Business Media. She recently finished a term on the national board of directors of the National Association of Women Business Owners, and was the national chair from 2010-2011. An advocate for small business owners, Kelly sits on numerous boards and committees to advocate on behalf of small business owners. She has won several awards for her advocacy. Among them are the 2011 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award on behalf of Kansas City area small business owners, the U.S. Small Business Administration's Region VII Women's Business Champion of the Year in 2009, and the Women in Business Advocate of the Year from the State of Kansas in 2006. In 2002, she won the SBA's Region VII Small Business Journalist of the Year Award (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas). Whatever your business stage—aspiring, startup, established, mature—Thinking Bigger Business Media has the resources you need to grow to the next level. We are a resource organization dedicated to providing the strategic, "how-to" information small business owners need to become more productive and more profitable. We also provide information that helps owners connect with resources within the business community that can help them grow. We deliver that information through a variety of media products and other channels easily accessible to business owners.
This entry was posted in Commentary on Business News, Entrepreneurial Insights & Observations. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Telling Kansas City’s Entrepreneurial Story

  1. Dodie Jacobi says:

    Yes Kelly! I so appreciate that long before the momentum you speak of, you and your team were playing an essential entrepreneurial community role. Research proves that new entrepreneurs need to see examples to know their own pursuits are possible. That’s the power of the stories you tell. You have inspired who knows how many. It’s SUCH hard work too, what you do in publishing so regularly and thoroughly. Thank you.

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