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February 1, 2011 (Reposted February 25, 2013)

Resources... Opportunities... Connections

OneKC for Women... WTH (what the heck) is this and what does it mean? A new women’s organization? Most definitely NO! We don’t need another women’s organization in a metropolitan area of one million women. Don’t you already feel like we are a “small” community and the six degrees of separation (Kevin Bacon brings a smile to MY face) is worn like a pink ribbon on our sleeve.

What if we bring the resources for women together to be found in one spot? What if we make sure women can find the resources they need anywhere in our community regardless of barriers like state lines, rivers, cow piles and bridges? What would happen if we connected women with other women to help them attain a level of success they aspire to? Aren’t we already doing this? Don’t you almost every day have someone making a new connection for you informally?

What if... we try to put some structure to it? Hey, we are going to take a stab with the women’s resources that influence financial stability for women. Resources and opportunities to learn, engage and create the choices we make to improve our lives and the lives of our families through financial gain. Women can multitask, so surely we can explore options that are available to us. Barriers to employment that need addressing; assessment of the talents each of us have; the creativity of taking a product or service to market. OneKC for Women is a collection of programs providing not only training but the encouragement from other women to see you through to success. At least to “whatever success means for you.” Sometimes for me success is just meeting the right person in town who is “the best” in what they do.

Our plan is to point some of these people out to you that we have had the fortune of running across. The Women’s Employment Network, Women’s Business Center and Women’s Capital Connection collectively have 38 years’ worth of connections to turn you on to. These organizations are OneKC for Women, serving women anywhere in our community. Forming this alliance will create a synergy that has legs, and anyone can be a part of it as we “help women help themselves.” Oh yeah! Stay tuned... we are just getting warmed up.

Shop Local for the Holidays

Shopping local helps Kansas City-based businesses compete in a global economy. Visit the websites below and check out these local businesses and the special holiday discounts they are offering to friends of the WBC.

Swoon
10% discount for all Thanksgiving and December holiday orders placed by November 15.

Avalon Specialties
Free setup of art (up to $55.00 value) on any new orders from now till December 1, 2012.

Heritage Computer Consulting & Services
50% discount on first hour of consulting.

Hippie Chow Natural Foods
Buy one bag, get another 50% off on full-size bags of granola at the Badseed Farmers’ Market through December 31, 2012.

Mano’s Gifts
15% discount on any purchases made via web. Use discount code womenrock.

JDeaneJobs
30% off any talent management or on-boarding program. Or free JobCast implementation into your Facebook page, two job description updates and posting for only $299 until December 31, 2012.

Making Kansas City America’s Most Entrepreneurial City

Imagine what our start-up survival rate for new businesses would be if everyone committed to doubling the number of purchases they made from local small businesses. The success of the recent cash mob event (see IThinkBigger) proves two things: the power of social media in driving customers to doors and the desire to buy locally is out there!

The power of buying locally has been proven:

  • For every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here. Online spending means nothing comes home.
  • Local businesses hire locally.
  • Local businesses don’t relocate to another state to take advantage of tax breaks.
  • Local entrepreneurs give back to their community, not only in dollars donated, but in time.
  • It’s estimated that if half the employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned independent businesses, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in local revenue.

So next time you have a choice, think and act to make Kansas City the most entrepreneurially friendly city — buy local!

Interested in learning more about buying locally? Visit this link for more information or Google “buy local campaigns” and get a taste of buy-local movements across the country.

Stuff — WEN Fundraiser Recap

Whose faces would be next to the word “Angel” in the Webster dictionary? Meet… Sloan and Casey Simmons, co-owners of Stuff Store, 316 W. 63rd Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64113. Sloan and Casey revel in setting up others to succeed, especially women (entrepreneurs). Successful female entrepreneurs in their own right, Sloan and Casey persistently pour generosity onto Kansas City nonprofit organizations by organizing public fundraising events at Stuff. Invitations are open to all, and featured organizations are the “Host” of the evening. Not only will Stuff “take care of it all,” 15 percent of retail sales from each event goes directly to the “Host” of that evening. Want to know more? Follow www.pursuegoodstuff.com for more details.

Abundant Help for KC Women

I know what it is like to live with limited resources. I am from Africa where food, water and especially help to promote women are completely lacking. I came as part of the Community Solutions Fellowship in August 2011. The program allows me to come to the United States for four months, and then I return to my country to implement a project based on what I learned.

The Fellowship partnered me with the Women’s Business Center in Kansas, one of three parts of the OneKC for Women Alliance. I am amazed at how much the alliance as a whole has to offer women in the Kansas City area. There is everything needed to help women move forward in the form of resources, opportunities and connections.

The Women’s Business Center can provide resources to women who are looking at starting their own business before they begin their endeavor. The center can also help women who have started a business continue to build and grow that business.

The other two-thirds of the alliance is comprised of the Women’s Employment Network and Women’s Capital Connection. The Employment Network can help unemployed or underemployed women prepare to find a job or determine if they want to start their own business. The Women’s Capital Connection can help some businesses find investors. It is amazing watching what women can accomplish with the right tools.

I know that if these opportunities existed in my developing country, women would line up in droves to use what is there. As they say, educate a girl and the whole community is educated. I want to spread the word about amazing programs such as OneKC for Women and its alliances. I encourage more women to self-identify as role models in families and social circles. Support innovators such as the Women’s Business Center, Women’s Employment Network and Women’s Capital Connection so that more women have opportunities and continue to educate their community. So many opportunities, so many women, so much that OneKC for Women can do to help them, you just need to reach out and connect.

When I return to Africa, I will take with me so many insights about what is needed to help women grow. To learn more about OneKC for Women and each of the affiliates, log on to www.onceforwomen.com.

Hadijah Nankanja