Next week is a good week to be an entrepreneur.
The 14th annual Global Entrepreneurship Week begins Nov. 8, and Kansas City’s program offers 100 free events to entrepreneurs near and far.
Though events took place last year, the pandemic kept things virtual. This year, organizers are excited to bring people back together face-to-face for about a quarter of the total events.
“Global Entrepreneurship is a great way to get connected to other people like you who are trying to start a business or grow a business,” said Sarah Mote, director of marketing for KCSourceLink, a nonprofit entrepreneurship organization that organizes Global Entrepreneurship Week Kansas City. “It’s also a great way to get introduced to all the resources in Kansas City that are available.”
Though last year’s events were all conducted virtually, they still brought in more than 1,000 registrations. A major goal has been accessibility, so the events are spread throughout the city rather than concentrated in one area as in past years. The majority are accessible from home, and at no cost.
“Global Entrepreneurship has always been free,” Mote said. “That’s one thing that we want to do is really provide this education and … remove those barriers to entrepreneurship so that you get the education and connections and collaboration that you need to move forward.”
After the twists and turns of the pandemic, Mote said next week’s events will provide entrepreneurs a good opportunity to get their footing and continue on.
As the name suggests, Global Entrepreneurship Week isn’t confined to the Kansas City area. The occasion is also recognized by the U.S. Department of State and, according to KCSourceLink, has now spread to over 170 countries.
St. Louis is hosting a similar program, STL Startup Week, which starts the same day and runs through Nov. 12 with dozens of events.
Cami Travis-Groves is one of many presenters scheduled for next week in Kansas City. With a background in graphic design and coaching, she will teach about how to harness creativity in entrepreneurial efforts.
“There’s so much overlap between entrepreneurship and being creative and being a coach,” she said. “I’m sharing the lessons I learned the hard way.”
Travis-Groves will present five different workshops over the course of the week, each coaching entrepreneurs and creatives from different angles, including self-confidence, balance, speaking and more.
“It has been obviously a very tumultuous year for startups, for scale-ups, for businesses that are trying to get started, for businesses that are already established,” Mote said.
She hopes that next week can “renew your confidence of what you’re doing, and give you that kind of community beside you that can help you move your business forward.”
Travis-Groves sees the slew of events as a symbol of the warm welcome Kansas City offers to budding businesses and innovation — “We’re known as the Silicon Prairie for a reason,” she said.
The region has some work to do — the city ranks 12th in the Midwest as a startup hub, according to Startland News — but Mote and the organizers of next week’s events aim to show off all that the region has to offer.
“Kansas City has a well-connected ecosystem of resources,” Mote said, “and so this is a great place to kind of dip your toe in, see what’s available, see who else is doing this, and really help fill the gaps that you may have missed.”
All events require free registration prior to the event. KCSourceLink organizes the events by day and target audience, and it all starts Monday with Coffee Kickoff, bringing entrepreneurs together in four different cafes around the Kansas City metro.