UMKC Innovation Center partners with the university and the community to spark and sustain entrepreneurial efforts within our region and across the country.

KCSourceLink connects KC entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

MOSourceLink connects Missouri entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

Whiteboard2Boardroom connects entrepreneurs and businesses to technologies available for licensing.

Digital Sandbox KC provides early-stage proof-of-concept support for digital products.

Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center provides technical assistance to startup and existing businesses.

ScaleUP! Kansas City helps businesses with revenues around $200K scale toward their first $1 million.

Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers helps local businesses obtain government contracts.

KCInvestED helps investors learn more about investing in KC startups.

SourceLink® helps communities nationwide build vibrant and vital entrepreneurial ecosystems.
UMKC Innovation Center
Senior startup success stories in Missouri

How These Missouri Senior Startup Founders Found Success

Many senior entrepreneurs are succeeding in Missouri. The biggest cities in the United States were ranked in 2016 for their business friendliness towards startup enterprises. The results of the survey were eagerly awaited by people looking for the best places to start businesses across North America. The good news for Missouri is that three of its cities were in the top five percent.

Business friendly Missouri

The detailed report is based on data collected from the US Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Council for Community and Economic Research, and others. So where do the cities of Missouri come in the list? St. Louis is near the top at number five, Springfield is celebrating its achievement of position eight, and Kansas City is basking in the glow of being at number 16, in the top five percent of US cities along with St. Louis and Springfield. There are 150 cities in the list, so Missouri’s stellar rankings are encouraging for anyone thinking of starting a business there.

Successful silver startups

When looking at the thriving business scene in Missouri, it is noticeable how many are started by senior entrepreneurs. This is not surprising, as the numbers of startup entrepreneurs over 55 years old are increasing across the United States and have been doing so since the late 1990s. A wealth of advice is available for seniors who wish to start a business in retirement and there have been some fantastic success stories.

Spectacular eyeSmith

A good example of a silver startup success story in Missouri is eyeSmith, a high-end optical store in Kansas City. Randal Smith had a thirty-year career in the optical industry, after which he set up eyeSmith with his wife Janeel when they were both in their fifties.  

Wonderful weddings in Kansas City

Donnetta Watson built on her passion for event management by creating a wedding planning business and venue in Kansas City at the age of 54. Couples from the Kansas City area and beyond come to her venue The Promise with their guests to celebrate their weddings, with Donnetta and her team making sure that everything runs smoothly.

Success factors

Having an environment that is supportive to new enterprise, as Missouri does, is a major factor in the success of a silver startup. Sufficient funding is also important, as are a network of the right people for advice and assistance.

With these key factors in place, all that is needed is tenacity and energy to set the business up, drive it forward in the right way and make the silver startup a success.

Jess Walter is a freelance writer specializing in the business and finance sectors. She loves the freedom that comes with freelance life and the additional time it means she gets to spend with her family and pets.

Photo by Christy Ash on Unsplash.

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