November 8, 2021
Global Entrepreneurship Week, started by the Kauffman Foundation in 2008, is now celebrated annually in more than 170 countries. The international celebration is intended to shine a light on the innovative and diverse communities of entrepreneurs around the world and offer resources and connections to support them. This year, Global Entrepreneurship Week will be celebrated in Kansas City November 8–14.
During GEWKC, participants will have the opportunity to attend free educational and networking events across the metro. Organized by a committee of volunteers, including members of MCPL’s Square One Small Business Services team, the full schedule of GEWKC 2021 events features both in-person and virtual sessions on a wide variety of topics—from marketing and sales advice to legal and accounting seminars. Several GEWKC sessions will be led by Square One.
Funded by a grant from the Kauffman Foundation, MCPL’s Square One team was founded in 2014 as an initiative to fuel the local economy by supporting small businesses through free resources and services. In addition to classes during GEWKC, Square One’s team offers free business programs year-round led by local experts, and they regularly meet with current and aspiring business owners around the Kansas City area to help connect them with vital resources.
Godfrey Riddle is one such Square One client. His company, Civic Saint, is a local, “affirming apparel and accessories” brand that he uses to advance social justice causes by donating portions of customer purchases to organizations that fight for racial and social equity. Riddle says his sense of entrepreneurship was shaped and influenced by the unjust killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, leading him to found a business focused on creating “spaces of inclusion.” He considers the support of the Library and its Square One team to be invaluable.
“Their support and their knowledge are really what I found to be most useful. And the fact that they have entrepreneurs on staff and entrepreneurial experts on staff is super useful,” Riddle said.
Getting help related to social media through Square One was particularly helpful for Riddle. With the Library’s assistance, he was able to build a social media presence for Civic Saint, develop marketing approaches, understand the market he is operating in, and identify competitors and an ideal direction for him to pursue. For example, the Library has a database tool called Demographics Now that allows entrepreneurs to identify target customers. Being able to use Library tools and resources is a huge cost-saving boon for Riddle and others like him.
Compared with other entrepreneurship support services, Riddle calls Square One “more focused” and “very deep.” When asked how the Square One program contributed to shifts in Riddle’s entrepreneurship goals, he answered simply, “I feel more confident and knowledgeable.”
Connect with MCPL’s Square One team during GEWKC, or schedule a one-on-one with one of their business specialists.
-MCPL Marketing & Communications
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