Monday, September 17, 2007

Kansas City Area ED Initiative Honored

The Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (IEI) at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) and its program, KCSourceLink, were honored by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) with its Multi-Year Economic Development Programs Award.

The award will be presented at an awards ceremony during IEDC’s annual conference in Phoenix, Arizona, and will be accepted by Cary Clark, market development director for KCSourceLink and IEI.

IEI and KCSourceLink competed in a category that included organizations serving areas with populations exceeding 200,000. UMKC’s IEI and the KCSourceLink program were a clear standout, according to IEDC chairman Ronnie L. Bryant, who noted that “the award serves as a salute to pacesetting organizations like IEI for leading the charge.”

Founded in June, 2003, KCSourceLink connects small businesses and entrepreneurs in the 18-county, bi-state Kansas City region to more than 140 business-building non-profit resource organizations. Its mission is to help small business grow and prosper by providing business owners easy access to needed services. Entrepreneurs and business owners can access the entire network by making one phone call, e-mailing or using a search tool, The Resource Navigator®, on the Web site at ww.kcsourcelink.com.

“This award goes to KCSourceLink’s network partners,” says Maria Meyers, Network Builder for KCSourceLink. “These organizations work hard to grow business in the Kansas City region every day. It is an example of how communities can merge nonprofit, private and university resources to create an economic development environment that encourages small business success.”

Between June, 2003 and May, 2007 more than 2,600 aspiring and existing business owners have accessed this network via telephone hotline or e-mail, and 5,400 client referrals have been made to network resource organizations. Over 6,700 online searches have been made on The Resource Navigator® since its activation in January, 2004. An average of 7,000 visitors per month access www.kcsourcelink.com.

IEI at the Henry W. Bloch School of Business and Public Administration at UMKC includes innovative programs, innovative faculty, and innovative curriculum. At IEI, entrepreneurship is a mainstream field of study based on solid research and offered to students from all disciplines.

KCSourceLink was founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the SBA and the Bloch School of Business and Public Administration at UMKC.

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