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Entrepreneurs are determined individuals who doggedly pursue ideas they believe can improve the quality of life for people around the world. They represent the backbone of the global economy, and their pioneering thinking routinely helps us solve some of our most complex global problems.

While many first think of Silicon Valley as the hotbed of our nation’s entrepreneurs and start-ups, these determined individuals are found everywhere – not just in the cities traditionally known as high-tech hubs. In Kansas, for instance, we have a rich tradition of entrepreneurship, and IT is one of the Kansas City-area’s major economic engines. As the companies in our state grow, they contribute to the economy, hire more local residents and take on the flavor and personality of the city they call home. This is a new generation of Kansas entrepreneurs with vibrant ideas, driven to improve the communities around them as well as those across the nation and world.

Each year, more people are learning what we have known for some time: Kansas City is a great place for entrepreneurship. With support from all sides, the city and surrounding area benefit from a willingness among area fixtures like Sprint, Cerner, Hallmark and the Kauffman Foundation to invest in the entrepreneurship ecosystem. Along with a number of individual community leaders, they recognize that innovation is the key to economic growth, and they understand the success of new ventures like those at Startup Village is in their best interest – and vice-versa. These efforts have helped Kansas City leverage its local resources to become among America’s most entrepreneurial cities.

It’s no surprise that innovative new products continue to hit the market and high-tech job growth remains on the rise. With persistence and hard work, our entrepreneurs create thousands of jobs and grow companies with a mission. Entrepreneurs bring us groundbreaking ideas, more consumer choice and jobs. The data is clear that when startups thrive, society is better off and we all enjoy the benefits.

That’s why this Global Entrepreneurship Week – a celebration of entrepreneurs across 160 countries – I am redoubling my commitment to promoting entrepreneurship and examining important issues like the tax code, manufacturing and workforce development, as well as the regulatory framework with which our businesses grapple. We can continue to find new ways to unlock our potential, strengthen our economy on the local and national level, and empower our entrepreneurs to strive for and achieve the American Dream.

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Background
Started in 2008 by the Kauffman Foundation, Global Entrepreneurship Week is a worldwide celebration of entrepreneurs and like-minded individuals. Since its founding, this global observance has grown to include more than 160 countries with some 115,000 activities that engage more than 25 million people. In the Kansas City area, more than 10,000 people will participate in activities this year.