Skip to content

3,187,000 sticky notes: how we worked through 2017

Highlights from the year that was.

It’s been a year, folks. We’ve been hard at work to continue to carry out our founder’s mission to create opportunities and connect people to the tools they need to achieve success, change their futures and give back to their communities. We could review the year by having Morgan Freeman read the year’s worth of Kauffman tweets (maybe next year), but we’ll just stick to a few great highlights. Here’s our 2017 by the numbers.

It took us approximately

sticky notes to work our way through 2017. By our guestimate, we ran through approximately 3,187,000 sticky notes as a result of our embrace of design thinking, which apparently cannot be done without them.

738 Inclusion Open Applications

From the wonderful, overwhelming response to the open RFP, the Kauffman Foundation awarded 20 grants this year to organizations with exceptional track records in supporting women, minority and diverse entrepreneurs. More than 70 grantees from organizations that have received Kauffman inclusion grants since their inception in 2015, gathered in November to work and learn together to level the playing field for entrepreneurs who have been systemically left behind due to demographic, socioeconomic and geographic barriers.

11 out of 100

Only 11 out of 100 companies that started grew to hire 50 employees or more by their 10th year compared to 16 out of 100 companies 30 years ago.

The Zero Barriers Report outlined 3 mega trends shaping the future of entrepreneurship, which reflect the changing demographics, map, and nature of American entrepreneurship.

$1 Trillion to Moonshot | Kauffman Foundation

How might we invest $1 trillion in entrepreneurs during the next 10 years? That’s the question we asked ourselves—and 50 diverse thought leaders—during a Kauffman Foundation design thinking session focused on removing financial barriers for under-capitalized entrepreneurs. The Kauffman Moonshot Challenge has collected hundreds of ideas. Now we’re looking to expand on these ideas to test bold solutions.

1 bring-the-house-down talk from Melissa Bradley on “The Return on Investment in Diversity and Inclusion.”

To date, more than 300,000 entrepreneurs have used Kauffman FastTrac. Launched by Mr. Kauffman himself, it is now free and online to equip aspiring entrepreneurs with the business skills and insights, tools, resources, and peer networks necessary to start and grow successful businesses. Have an idea? Start here.

10 years of Global Entrepreneurship Week. During one week each November, thousands of events and competitions in 160 countries inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors. Powered by the Kauffman Foundation, the initiative is supported by dozens of world leaders and a network of more than 15,000 partner organizations.

If we reduced barriers to entrepreneurship for minorities to start and own companies at the same rate as non-minorities it could create 9.5 million jobs. In an effort to increase funding opportunities for underserved entrepreneurs, a pilot micro-lending program was launched in Kansas City to spur investment with a series of grants totaling $1.2 million.

At the inaugural ESHIP Summit in June 2017, 450 entrepreneurial ecosystem builders from 48 states and 10 countries collaborated to craft actionable plans for activating and transforming their startup communities. Translation: An army of folks, dedicated to supporting the dreamers, makers and doers starting and building businesses, are working together to write the book on how to reinvent the economy as we know it.

3.5 million students received high school diplomas in 2017. Unfortunately, the average high school diploma is no longer a predictor of adequate preparation for college or careers. The job market will undergo a revolution due to advanced technologies and automation. These changes are already happening, which creates an urgency to fix the education system as it exists right now and to address the uncertain future of the next two decades. We’re learning with communities to rethink education for Generation A.

93 percent of students who take a concentration of Profession-Based Learning courses graduate from high school, about 10 percent higher than the national average. With changes being brought on by technologies like artificial intelligence, 3D printing and robotics, the emerging economy will need very few workers who have not earned a postsecondary degree, training or a market-driven workforce credential. To meet the emerging needs of the workforce, our education system will need to adapt to prepare students for the future. See the math behind the urgency.

KC Scholars, a community-driven scholarship program, awarded $17,424,850 to its inaugural cohort this year. The program supports low- and modest-income students, as well as adult learners, finance and complete a college education. The first cohort of KC Scholars includes 287 traditional students and 90 adult learners, plus 70 students who received a college savings match and incentive.

14,000 early learners supported through $4,645,504 as granted by the Early Childhood Education Access Fund.

112 community members—from parents to pastors, teachers to city council members— participated in Great Schools Visits to Boston, Denver, Houston and San Diego. These visits allow a cross-section of Kansas City to learn together and embrace new ideas by visiting great schools in cities across the country that serve a similar population of students as those in Kansas City’s public schools.

500 student evaluations assessed out-of-school challenges for students across 11 public schools in Kansas City. SchoolSmartKC, working with the community to identify systemic solutions to address student success, is helping to fund the scale of support services in 10 schools to ensure that the out-of-classroom challenges identified in the evaluations are addressed and no longer a hindrance to academic performance.

Mr. Kauffman worked to make Kansas City a major league city, which is why his foundation joined a community of support for the Kansas City Urban Youth Academy, featuring four top-tier fields and a 40,000-square-foot indoor facility to establish a center for baseball instruction, play and education about all aspects of the business of baseball in the urban core.

We support 7 cultural assets in Kansas City that welcome millions of visitors each year—irreplaceable components of the vibrant town Mr. Kauffman loved.

54 percent of Kansas City area residents think the region is moving in the right direction, a marked contrast to a recent national survey, where only 32 percent said the nation was moving in the right direction. Mr. Kauffman once said, “Kansas City has been good to me and I want to show I can return the favor.” We’re proud to be part of a community, right in the middle of the country, that works together to make Kansas City great.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.