Making Kansas City America's Most Entrepreneurial City

Building on KC’s entrepreneurial history and rich resources, this Big 5 initiative has a goal to create a comprehensive and effective ecosystem for entrepreneurs throughout the region.

Joyce Hall started Hallmark with two boxes of postcards under his bed at the YMCA. Ewing Kauffman sold his calcium pills during the day and ground up oyster shells at night to build his inventory and, eventually, Marion Labs. Today, a new generation of entrepreneurs are following in their footsteps and Kansas City is a hotbed for start-ups and entrepreneurs.

The goal of “making Kansas City America’s most entrepreneurial city” has been embraced by way more people and organizations than just the Chamber. Since this Big 5 goal was announced in 2011, accelerators have been created, events connecting entrepreneurs have been organized, co-working spaces have opened, funding and resources have increased, and what’s happening in Kansas City is getting noticed nationally.  


KCSourceLink helps aspiring startups and established businesses find the right business resources to start, scale, or accelerate. Their website links you to more than 240 business building organizations across the KC region and their calendar is a great resource for connecting with activities, learning opportunities, and other entrepreneurs.

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Founder Ewing Kauffman believed it was a fundamental right for anyone who had a big idea to be able to bring it to life. His foundation works with entrepreneurs, empowers them with tools and resources, and works to break down barriers that stand in the way of starting and growing their businesses.

Gerald Smith, Big 5 Entrepreneurship Champion

The Champion of this Big 5 initiative has been an entrepreneur all his life and is now supporting other entrepreneurs through co-working. In his first entrepreneurial venture, Gerald Smith founded Lenexa-based Premier Studios, running that company for 25+ years. In 2014, he and his wife founded co-working space Plexpod which has now expanded to three locations – in Lenexa, the Crossroads, and Westport. Gerald says he hopes to bring Plexpod to other cities.