Small businesses are the backbone of our nation’s economy. However, starting a small business can be a risk, as many factors play into whether a small business will succeed. For the entrepreneurs who take that leap of faith, they contribute vastly to the nation’s economy. Entrepreneurs who choose to start their small businesses are responsible for 63 percent of net new jobs created in the United States every year and small businesses in Kansas are part of what makes its business climate one of the best in the nation.
“Small businesses demonstrate and promote a sense of community in the economy that cannot be matched,” said Kansas Commerce Secretary Antonio Soave. “The hard-working Kansans that start their businesses from the ground up represent the epitome of success in the Kansas business climate. The Department of Commerce is committed to seeing these businesses thrive and we will help in any way that we can.”
While more than 20 percent of startups will close within a year of starting their business, this does not seem to faze Kansas entrepreneurs. This entrepreneurial spirit is demonstrated by the fact that 96.4 percent of all businesses in Kansas are small, or employ less than 500 people. Entrepreneurship in Kansas demonstrates the very characteristics on which American business continues to be built - hard work, quality and integrity.
Small businesses are responsible for large portions of certain sectors. The top industries in which small businesses employ Kansans are agriculture with 96.2 percent of all employees in Kansas, services with 93 percent, construction with 82.5 percent, mining and oil and gas with 77.1 percent and arts, entertainment and recreation with 73.8 percent. All-in-all the small businesses in Kansas employ over half of all private sector employees.
Kansas has a very unique history of entrepreneurship, as minority ownership of small businesses is so prominent in the state. In the last decade, Kansas’ increase of minority ownership of businesses has surpassed the national average with 43.2 percent in Kansas, over the nation’s 38.1 percent. In fact, in the last decade, minority ownership of businesses has been responsible for all small business growth in the state. African American-owned businesses have increased by 27.6 percent, while Hispanic-owned businesses have increased by 74.8 percent and Asian-owned businesses have increased by 33.7 percent.
“The minority- and women-owned businesses in our state comprise a very talented and successful part of our small businesses here in Kansas,” said Rhonda Harris, from the Office of Minority and Women Business Development. “We have minorities and women with all types and sizes of business, from three people to 300 and from culinary ventures to production companies, the minority-owned businesses in this state add a vibrant shade of success to our business climate.”
Many small businesses have achieved great success in the Sunflower State. There are many resources available to these business startups in Kansas, including Angel Investor Tax Credits, the Office of Minority and Women Business Development, NetWork Kansas and the Kansas Small Business Development Center. These resources provide small businesses with the tools they need to be successful in Kansas.
Angel Investor Tax Credits help remove barriers restricting access to capital, while the Office of Minority and Women Business Development focuses on minority- and women-owned businesses and assists in a variety of ways. The Kansas Small Business Development Center provides low-cost or free business consulting or training and NetWork Kansas connects both emerging and established businesses to resources across the state that can assist them.
“Through the ability to assist small businesses with their endeavors, the Department of Commerce and other entities are able to help these businesses achieve great success,” said Secretary Soave. “We will continue to do all we can do provide that assistance.”
Entrepreneurship in Kansas has reached new heights through innovative businesses in an array of sectors. These small businesses help create a commitment to integrity and a dedication to quality. They also demonstrate service to the community through excellence and provide this quality to the state’s business environment. Small businesses help make business personal. The entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to excellence that Kansas small businesses boast is one of the most prized aspects of the Kansas economy.