Last month, the Center for Entrepreneurship brought together organizations and agencies across the region that have the common goal of supporting and developing entrepreneurship. Representatives from northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas gathered at Missouri Western’s Kit Bond Science and Technology Incubator to discuss how they could collaborate and grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“Each community is unique, but all of us who facilitate entrepreneurship have some common challenges and opportunities as well,” said Annette Weeks, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship. “This was a wonderful opportunity to come together and discuss those common challenges while expanding the resources available to entrepreneurs in our community.”

In addition to the Center for Entrepreneurship, representatives from Northeast Kansas Enterprise Facilitation, Northcentral Missouri Business Facilitation, Northwest Missouri Enterprise Facilitation, and LINK Business Facilitation of the Liberty Economic Development Corporation were in attendance. Resource partners included the US Department of Agriculture, Digital Sandbox, the Department of Economic Development, Missouri Enterprise, the Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments and the Inventors Club of Kansas City.

The event included St. Joseph’s weekly entrepreneur gathering, Cup of Joe, followed by presentations and breakout sessions at the Kit Bond Incubator. 

Resources and presenters included:

JustinePeterson and Jim Boyle – Small Business Loans
Sharon Schenewerk – COVID-19 Recovery Lab
Jamey Quelle – MissouriEnterprise (Manufacturing Resources)
Kim Milward – NWMORCOG – Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments
John Meyer –  Inventors Club Kansas City 
Steve Garrish – USDA
Dr. Gary Clapp – Kit Bond Incubator
Nic Hutchinson and Roni Mauer – MOKAN Regional

“This regional consortium has energized our network of facilitators and provided new resources to empower entrepreneurs,” said Teresa McAnerney, Facilitator for Northeast Kansas Enterprise Facilitation.  

The gathering was part of the Heartland Challenge grant Missouri Western received last year from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to support the launch of the Regional Economic Vitality consortium.