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Nia Richardson, managing director of KC Bizcare, in conversation with ecosystem builders from Kansas City inside the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center.
Managing Director of KC Bizcare, Nia Richardson, talks with other Kansas City-region ecosystem builders during the “Building Entrepreneurship Through Community” event at the Kauffman Foundation. KC Bizcare is a ”one-stop-shop” for free business resources and advocacy, and is an information center for new and existing businesses operating within Kansas City, Missouri.

Three ways to play a key role in the start and growth of businesses in your community

Kauffman FastTrac®, 1 Million Cups, and the Start Us Up coalition are
here to help ecosystem builders better support entrepreneurs.

Recently, members of the Kansas City region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem gathered at the Kauffman Foundation for a discussion about how we can partner to connect aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs to the information, frameworks, and resources needed to start and grow businesses.

The event, “Building Entrepreneurship Through Community,” featured a panel of current Kauffman FastTrac affiliates and entrepreneur graduates who shared their experience, as well as more information about how Kauffman’s other resources, such as 1 Million Cups and the Start Us Up coalition, can help ecosystem builders better support entrepreneurs in their communities.

Want to get involved?

Get engaged with FastTrac

What is FastTrac, and how can you make impact as an affiliate?

Kauffman FastTrac provides relevant content and tools to support the start, growth, and sustainability of aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs. Facilitator-led courses allow entrepreneurs to learn from trained facilitators with real-world experience, to get real-time feedback from other entrepreneurs, and to engage in a cohort of like-minded entrepreneurs.

FastTrac affiliates help entrepreneurs to:

  • Write a business plan.
  • Determine the unique features and benefits of their products and services.
  • Build their company’s brand and marketing.
  • Determine the steps to profitability.
  • Identify potential sources for funding.
  • Prepare for launch.

Affiliates determine the best delivery method for the community: in-person, virtual, or hybrid. Affiliates can also facilitate an entrepreneurial education program in English or Spanish.

Connect at 1 Million Cups

Share the power of peer-to-peer connections and direct access to your community’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

At 9 a.m. every Wednesday morning, in more than 120 communities across the country, 1 Million Cups offers an opportunity to create peer-to-peer connections and bring together local business owners. It also previews resources available in the larger ecosystem.

Building and growing a business can be hard. We believe in the value of community to make it easier. 1 Million Cups provides a supportive, inclusive space for entrepreneurs and their communities to gather and connect, where they can work through business challenges and identify opportunities.

Advocate for entrepreneurs

The Start Us Up coalition uses America’s New Business Plan (ANBP) to advocate for leveling the playing field for entrepreneurs.

Start Us Up is a diverse coalition of organizations that spans the entire nation and includes entrepreneurship support organizations, nonprofits, university centers, and more. ANBP is a nonpartisan plan for policymakers that is focused on creating new, good jobs and rebuilding an economy that works for everyone.

Involvement in the Coalition can deepen the impact of existing advocacy efforts by joining others in lifting up a common policy agenda. It can leverage entrepreneurial advocacy by fostering practical skills and making use of Start Us Up advocacy resources.