Big Small Business Comes to the Library for Global Entrepreneurship Week

Public libraries have always been beacons for entrepreneurs. Recent graduates and seasoned professionals alike need easy, affordable access to pertinent information that will help their businesses grow. Libraries charge neither tuition nor membership dues, and many of their resources, such as powerful databases, are available online.

Offering a free connection to a wealth of resources on subjects like obtaining financing, conducting industry research, and keeping up with trade publications – not to mention free wi-fi – the Kansas City Public Library (particularly the H&R Block Business & Career Center) is an entrepreneur’s office away from the office.

Kansas City: Cradle of Entrepreneurs

This November, in conjunction with the Ewing & Marion Kauffman Foundation's Global Entrepreneurship Week (Nov. 14-20), the Kansas City Public Library is continuing its acclaimed Cradle of Entrepreneurs series of public discussions with prominent local business founders. The series, which has so far included conversations with Gail Lozoff of SPIN! Pizza, John McDonald of Boulevard Brewing Co., and Mary Carol Garrity of Nell Hill’s, was named Best Library Series by The Pitch. All events are free and open to the public.

Carl Schramm comes to Central,
Wednesday, Nov. 2

Carl Schramm – The Kauffman Foundation
Wednesday, November 2, 2011 • 6:30 p.m.
Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
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On Wednesday, November 2, the Cradle of Entrepreneurs series continues with the man who coined the term from which the program takes its name. In his 2004 address, “Kansas City: Cradle of Entrepreneurs,” Kauffman Foundation President and CEO Carl Schramm said, “I believe the role of the entrepreneur in the life of Kansas City is central, not only to seeing its past in a new light, but, more importantly, to understanding what might lie ahead and how the present generation might effectively bring forth a yet more productive future.”

If you think that sounds inspiring, you’ll want to be in the audience at the Central Library next Wednesday, when Schramm engages Library Director Crosby Kemper III in a conversation about entrepreneurial innovation, job creation, and economic growth.

Danny O’Neill – The Roasterie
Tuesday, November 15, 2011 • 8 a.m.
Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
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If you’re a discerning coffee drinker (and what real entrepreneur isn’t?) and you live in Kansas City, chances are good that you already wake up to freshly brewed coffee from The Roasterie. On Tuesday morning, November 15, at the Plaza Branch, you can incorporate into you’re a.m. routine not only an invigorating, complimentary cup of Roasterie coffee but also words of wisdom from the Bean Baron himself, Danny O’Neill.

Since founding the company in his Brookside basement 18 years ago, O’Neill has built The Roasterie into one of the most renowned specialty coffee roasters in the nation. Find out his secrets for entrepreneurial perk and java perfection.

Ollie Gates – Gates Bar-B-Q
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 • 6:30 p.m.
Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
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Why, yes, Ollie Gates, you may help us. On Wednesday, November 16, at the Central Library, the president of Gates Bar-B-Q you can help us understand what it takes to keep a family restaurant thriving, growing, and relevant for 65 years – not to mention serving up consistently delicious barbecue in a city that’s picky about its meat ‘n sauce.

Gates, a KC native who attended college at Maryland State College and Lincoln University, is not only an award-winning restaurateur but a local community leader with visions for economic development in the urban core. Get his tips for business – and burnt-end – success. And yes, there will be free Gates barbecue to sample.

Clara Reyes – Dos Mundos
Thursday, November 17, 2011 • Noon
Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
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If you’re an entrepreneur concerned with making a difference in your community, our conversation with Clara Reyes on Thursday, November 17, is not to be missed. Since founding Dos Mundos in an Overland Park basement 30 years ago, Reyes has led her bilingual newspaper in empowering Hispanic immigrants to Kansas City and the Midwest with news and information to help them navigate a new culture and economy.

Reyes was recently commended by the Mexican consul in Kansas City for having “contributed to the well-being prosperity and advancement of Mexican communities abroad,” and she was a founding member of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, now based in Washington, D.C.


About the Author

Jason Harper is the web content developer at the Kansas City Public Library. He has been tweeting, Facebooking, blogging, and YouTubing for the Library since 2010.