When more than 600 attendees gathered this week in Kansas City for the second ESHIP Summit, they each came with their own ecosystems, businesses, local governments and support networks in mind.
They also brought questions.
“What are they doing in their cities? What’s worked and what hasn’t worked? What can we adopt back at home to learn about new resources?” asked Deloris Wilson, an inclusive innovation fellow at BEACON: The DC Women Founders Initiative.
The three-day conference organized by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation sought answers to how entrepreneurs and their supporters can rethink an economic model that currently fails to provide equity in access to business success.
Planned as an unconventional gathering of innovators, mayors, community builders, economic development leaders, 1 Million Cups leaders, researchers and educators, ESHIP provided an opportunity for people like Wilson flesh out common challenges — like sustainability among initiatives aimed at entrepreneur support.
“A lot of the work — and a lot of the organizations that are in a similar space that I’ve met — are relatively new, probably within the past five years. I have not yet met someone that is like ‘We’ve been doing this for 20 years,’” Wilson said.
Locally, KCSourceLink has come close. The entrepreneur resource network celebrated 15 years in Kansas City in June.
The Kauffman Foundation was founded in 1966.
Hear more takeaways from Wilson and other attendees in the video below.