Small Business Owners Kick Off KCSPP, Begin Path to Sustainable Growth

Dozens of MBE/WBE leaders began a six-month business boot camp led by Clark | Weitz | Clarkson (CWC) to help their small or disadvantaged business grow strategically and build capacity on the threshold of what will be one of Kansas City’s most lucrative construction eras.

“We’re thrilled about the partnership with the Edgemoor Team because of this program,” said City Councilman Jermaine Reed. By learning to refine operations, marketing, cash flow and management of personnel, the small businesses of Kansas City will build capacity for sustainable high performance.

The Strategic Partnership Program was developed 12 years ago by Clark Construction Group, lead member of the CWC joint venture team. Wes Stith, CWC Vice President and a member of the KCI construction procurement team, helped found the program with the help of Dr. Leonard Greenhalgh of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. The program, which is now offered in six cities across the country, including Kansas City, has more than 550 graduates nationwide. Dr. Greenhalgh, who is in the Minority Business Hall of Fame, addressed the inaugural class of the KC Strategic Partnership Program during the day-long opening session on April 5th.

“What is the number one challenge for minority and women-owned businesses today?” the Professor asked nearly 50 business leaders at the Morningstar Youth and Family Life Center. “It’s not capital, or cash flow, although those are critical to your success. The most frequent weakness is a lack of strategic direction.” Over the period of six months, the KC Strategic Partnership Program participants will learn core construction management skills and business fundamentals while building a stronger network.

Mayor Sly James joined participants on day one of the inaugural KCSPP class and stressed the city’s desire to help build and grow local businesses, so they are sustainable. “One person at a time, one business at a time, we will transform the economy of our city!” The business leaders who signed up for the KC Strategic Partnership Program greeted those words with enthusiasm—and resolve.