Local Small Businesses and Aspiring Entrepreneurs Find Support Despite COVID Setbacks


Forward Cities
Gabe Muñoz, Local Director - ESHIP Kansas City
(816) 309-2063


RELEASE DATE: 10/12/2020


Kansas City, MO, October 12 — A new multicultural mentorship program, the Troost & Prospect project, for brick-and-mortar small businesses, businesses with less than $200K in annual sales, and/or aspiring and new small businesses in and around the Troost & Prospect neighborhoods in Kansas City has emerged.

ESHIP Communities Kansas City has partnered with Porter House KC and the Mid-Continent Public Library’s Square One Economic Empowerment Office to provide mentorship and one-on-one assistance to help launch, stabilize, and grow local businesses and strengthen the Troost & Prospect neighborhood commercial corridors.

The mentorship program is designed to:

  • Adapt to small businesses’ most urgent needs
  • Remove the pressure of focusing on high growth
  • Focus on hands-on learning 
  • Utilize conversations (vent) to reduce stress and anxiety
  • Inspire and increase motivation to keep moving forward

The ESHIP Communities Kansas City Council developed the project, which is currently focused on one Kansas City, MO neighborhood, in partnership with several community-based organizations. Current Community Council members include Darryl Answer, Adam Arredondo, Lauren Conway, Evette Cosby, Simone Curls, Chris Kelly, Edgar Galicia, Carlos Gomez, Shaya Lockett, Virginia Mercado, Jenny Miller, Morgan Perry, Eze Redwood, Nia Richardson, Alex Ruybalid, Hadiza SaAadu, Daniel Smith, Kyle Smith, and Meredith Walrafen. The project working group included representatives from Kansas City Public Library, La Mega KC 1160 AM, Metropolitan Community College, NeighborBuilt, The Porter House KC, Prospect Business Association and Wings Cafe.

ESHIP Kansas City, funded by the Kauffman Foundation, engages entrepreneurs and community leaders to grow, trust, connectivity, and equity for entrepreneurs in the neighborhoods most disconnected from the traditional entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

For more information on this program and ESHIP Communities, contact Forward cities Local Director in Kansas City Gabe Muñoz at gmunoz@forwardcities.org.


ESHIP Communities Kansas City is part of a larger ​national initiative​ of the Kauffman Foundation, led by a collaborative council of individuals who represent different stakeholders from across the community. ​Forward Cities​ is managing the implementation of this effort as a grantee of the ​Kauffman Foundation​. This national program is a community-driven approach for building entrepreneurial ecosystems that foster inclusion, relationships, collaboration, and social capital across networks of entrepreneurs and those who support them. The program supports the creation and evaluation of a repeatable, bottom-up approach to building and strengthening entrepreneurial ecosystems. 





ESHIP Kansas City Local Director

Gabe has been actively involved in the Kansas City entrepreneurial ecosystem for over 13 years. Gabe works to create a unified community vision to best serve entrepreneurs, while creating a welcoming and inclusive culture that places the needs of entrepreneurs front and center.