entrepreneurship

Daniela Vidal and Jacqueline LeBlanc / KBIA

  You might not expect to find too much of Mexico in Missouri. But small towns across the state, like Mexico, Missouri are adapting to a growing Latino population.

The last census reported the state of Missouri saw a nearly 80 percent increase in the Latino population from 2000 to 2010.

So it’s no surprise to hear conversations in Spanish when you step into Diva 27, a Mexican grocery and clothing store in Mexico.  Boxes of tortillas, fresh sweet bread, spices and figurines of famous Mexican comedians line the shelves.

Columbia REDI

The new year has seen some change in the Columbia business community. Now that we’re more than a month into 2015, Columbia Regional Economic Development Incorporated is a month into the term of its new president, Stacey Button. After former president Mike Brooks left in late 2014, Button started in the position on January 5. KBIA's Kara Tabor speaks with her about the first month and her plans for further supporting the local business community.

Christa Corrigan/Missouri Business Alert

 

  Columbia's Parkade Center opened in 1965. It was built on a prime location off of Interstate 70 — a new freeway reshaping the American approach to commerce. Parkrade Center was once the premier shopping destination in mid-Missouri. However that changes after the Columbia Mall opened in 1985. After struggling to keep businesses and shoppers for years, the center has shifted its business model in the past decade, and its business appears to be improved and stabilized. Missouri Business Alert's Christa Corrigan reports on the comeback of the once lifeless shopping center.

Hellen Tian

  President of Regional Economic Development Inc. (REDI), Mike Brooks, will retire at the end of September. Since assuming the role in 2009, Brooks has helped REDI focus its efforts on attracting new business, expanding existing business, as well as building an entrepreneurial-friendly environment.

This week we sat down with Brooks, to talk about the importance of entrepreneurship to the local economy, and the challenges mid-Missouri faces in economic development. 

Missouri’s friendliness towards small businesses

Aug 20, 2014
Hey Paul Studios via Flickr

 The state of Missouri gets a C grade in it's friendliness towards small businesses according to a survey released in July by thumbtack.com in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City. But does Columbia fit into this ranking?

Over 12,000 business owners were surveyed across the nation. Businesses were asked about things like existing regulations, tax code, hiring and training and networking programs.

With items on the menu like the Storm Trooper Dog, the Al Hra-BRAT-ski and the Crazy Cajun Creole dog, it's clear that Steve’s Hot Dogs on the Hill considers its fare more than hot dogs.

"I could eat the entire menu," regular Don Schroeder laughed.

He hesitated before ordering but finally chose the Bacon, Bacon Jamaican, a smoked hot dog covered with cheese, peppers and sweet chipotle sauce. 

YEZ adding entrepreneurship aspect to program

Sep 13, 2013

Youth Empowerment Zone is scheduled to have its first annual fashion show on September 23. YEZ is a program that focuses on teaching life skills needed to be successful in the business world. The fashion show will help distinguish what is and what is not appropriate for young adults to wear to a job interview. YEZ Director Lorenzo Lawson says that appearance is an important aspect of the interview process.

“We teach that you can’t go to an interview when you’ve got your pants sagging and you are showing all of your tattoos,” Lawson said.

How one enzyme manufacturer catalyzed success

Mar 8, 2013
Megan Stoll Studios

Researchers Katie and Brian Thompson of the University of Missouri took the plunge to start a company a few years ago.  They relocated to the Missouri Innovation Center in Columbia, which provides them office space and mentorship support. The husband and wife team developed a technology that stabilizes enzymes.  They created a platform technology, which has applications in many industries. 

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

This week, we'll examine the Affordable Care Act's impact on farmers, and hear how one enzyme manufacturer was able to grow its business.

University of Missouri-Kansas City

The University of Missouri-Kansas City's Innovation Center is starting a new program to help entrepreneurs build sustainable high-tech startups and create jobs.

Gov. Jay Nixon and top executives from Sprint, Hallmark, Cernert Corp. and other businesses will be at the university Friday to inaugurate the Digital Sandbox KC.

Columbia software startup Zapier won the first ever Columbia Startup Weekend and rode that success all the way to Silicon Valley. When I last spoke to the trio, they had finished a mentorship program at the Y Combinator in California and were confident about the future. When I last spoke with Zapier in late September, I asked founder Wade Foster if he was talking with investors. He would say only "our biggest thing is just getting back to work and growing the product and user base." Now Zapier is hiring their first employee and pouring resources into the next iteration of their web-based services.

From sketches to pitches at Startup Weekend

Oct 5, 2012
water bottles
Cale Sears

Last Friday, more than a hundred would-be entrepreneurs got together for an annual event called Startup Weekend.  The fast paced, company building workshop brings big ideas down to earth in just 54 hours.  125 participants with laptop and smartphones gather to build small, lean companies that might grow into something much bigger.

maria figueroa armijos
University of Missouri

Microsoft, Staples, and SouthWest Airlines.

What do these companies have in common? Yes, they're big companies, they employ a lot of people and they're successful. But here's one more thing--all of these companies were created in a period of economic downturn.  The Fortune 500 is littered with stories like this.

Business Beat spoke with Maria Figueroa-Armijos who's one of the authors of a new study which suggests that certain types of entrepreneurs are on the rise and it’s not in spite of the recession--it’s because of it.