Q: What is something that’s happening in KC right now that you are excited about?
A: The ESHIP buzz is exciting not only for the Kansas City entrepreneurship community as a whole, but it’s also providing light to the underserved communities and helping to increase the conversation about inequalities and what’s needed to level playing fields as it relates to small business ownership. So many similar organizations are making great things happen at small scales, and with collaborations, we are creating opportunities to make bigger impacts. Some great organizations to note: the Porter House KC, Forward Cities, Prospect Business Association, Troost Market Collective, Eastside Collaborative, CHES Inc., KC BizCare, KC Sourcelink, Startland, and so many more…
Q: What is your deeper “why” behind your commitment and work to support inclusive entrepreneurship in Kansas City?
A: My why stems from my upbringing. My family and community invested so much into me, I have always felt the need to repay the investment. Entrepreneurship is the means to serve my why. Seeing people who look like me have the drive to create positive change within themselves and their community drives my passion to create opportunities and canvases for them to thrive.
A: The lack of access and support for projects I’ve started in the past gave me reason to bust down barriers and provide quality support to the folks I serve.
A: We created the Porter House KC to address those barriers specifically.
A: The urban community rallying around community-built small businesses, growth in urban economic development, and jobs and skills gains in the urban communities.
A: Be strong, open, tenacious, curious, and consistent.
Q: Do you have an example of how you or someone you’ve worked with has benefited from ecosystem building?
A: The benefits of ecosystem building are not always prevalent, for individual organizations, rather the collective benefit from networking, pass-through opportunities, collective growth efforts, and so many more endeavors that create a positive trajectory for the ecosystem. We have been blessed with the opportunity to connect/work with so many builders, doers, and makers in the ecosystem, we have definitely benefited from the network.
A: I’m not sure if I am at a point where my “life’s work” has been defined yet. It’s always a progression, but to this point, and maybe my future “life’s work” claim will be my children.
A: For the last few years we have been working diligently to develop our platform, and we are excited about our progress to this point. Charon Thompson, Coley Williams, Ron Farmer and I are still working. We are still building what we set out to do, so I’d say check back with us in 12 months, short term, and 5 years longer term to see what impact we’ve made in the community.
A: To impact the family that has the hustle mentality. To help people see that their talents and passions can be turned into economic drivers for the community they live in. Jobs can be created, livelihoods can be maintained and grown. Our goal is to help create an economic ecosystem for the underserved populations we serve and create sustainability leading to a better way of life.
Did something in this interview inspire you?
Get in touch with Dan
and The Porter House KC