Urban Business Growth Initiative Clients Report Increased Sales of $7 Million In First Six Months

In Entrepreneurs, Urban Renewal by EDCKC Staff

In less than a year, the Urban Business Growth Initiative has graduated its first Ice House class, held 125 counseling sessions with more than 40 clients, and helped clients add 32 jobs. Counseled clients have also reported $7 million in increased sales. The Urban Business Growth Initiative features training programs and technical assistance provided by the UMKC Small Business and Technology Development Center and the Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Center. The initiative targets these services to low- to moderate income individuals in the urban core who wish to start or grow businesses.

The program has been met with great enthusiasm. “It has opened my mind to new ways of thinking and reinforces many intuitive decisions I have already made,” said one Ice House participant. “There were skills discussed that I did not know I even needed,” said another.

The Ice House Entrepreneurship Program combines classroom and online coursework to teach eight essential tools of an entrepreneurial mindset. The 10-week program will be offered again April 29-July 1 at the UMKC SBTDC, 4747 Troost Ave. in Kansas City, Mo. Scholarships are available for residents and businesses located in the urban core of Kansas City, Mo.



Other upcoming classes include Financing Your Small Business on April 23, 4-5 p.m. at 1900 Vine and May 28, 4-5 p.m. at the Women’s Business Center. Details at www.kcsourcelink.com/calendar.

In addition to the 10 participants in Ice House, 67 urban core business owners have participated in FastTrac® NewVenture™, FastTrac® GrowthVenture™, Construction Business Management, Manage Your Financials and Winning Government Contracts: The First Steps.

Embedding a UMKC SBTDC counselor at 18th and Vine is a key aspect of the initiative. More than 40 urban core clients have taken advantage of accessible, experienced counseling.

Those clients report some amazing results:

– 26 have received certifications in two different programs

– Sales have increased $7 million; equity $2.1 million and 32 jobs over 2012

– Six companies received government contracts

– Two companies were able to secure debt financing

The Urban Business Growth Initiative is a partnership between KCSourceLink and KC BizCare, the City of Kansas City, Mo.’s Business Customer Service Center and the UMKC Small Business and Technology Development Center. The program encourages entrepreneurial startups which will, in turn, create jobs in Kansas City’s economically distressed neighborhoods.

Other partners include the Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Center, the Women’s Business Center and Justine PETERSEN. Services and training are being delivered at the Black Economic Union’s Small Business Center in the Historic Lincoln Building and the Blue Hills Construction Incubator.

Funding for the Urban Business Growth Initiative comes through support from the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City-Kansas City, Inc. and the City of Kansas City, Mo.


KCSourceLink connects a network of more than 200 business-building organizations in the 18-county Kansas City region to the aspiring and existing business owners that need their services. The mission is to help small businesses grow and prosper by providing easy access to needed services. Entrepreneurs and business owners can access the entire network at www.kcsourcelink.com

The Small Business and Technology Development Center at the University of Missouri-Kansas City is one of a network of offices located throughout the state. The Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Centers (MO SBTDC) provide consulting services and training in marketing, finance, management and technology development at little or no cost.

KCBizCare, a division of the City of Kansas City, Missouri City Manager’s Office, is a free business resource, advocacy and information center for new and existing businesses operating within Kansas City, Mo.


Questions? Contact: Carmen DeHart
Director of Outreach, UMKC Innovation Center