Kansas City: Toward Universal Equitable Contracting

Kansas City is a finalist for this year’s City Accelerator project, which is focused on helping cities promote economic equity.
by Kansas City | May 1, 2019 AT 10:00 AM
(197 ratings)

Kansas City is a finalist for this year's City Accelerator project, which is focused on helping cities promote economic equity.

You can help select this year's City Accelerator participants! Check out the cities' pitches, and then let us know which ones you think should be a part of this important program by giving them a star rating and leaving your comments below!

What is the city proposing?

Kansas City’s plans to build a universal procurement system that creates equitable and inclusive economic opportunities for African-American and minority businesses to be strong and sustainable drivers, partners and leaders in the Kansas City community. The innovative approach to their goal - create an eco-system for small businesses that’s built by small businesses.


For a detailed description of the mission and purpose of the City Accelerator’s cohort on promoting economic equity, click here.

Public response is one of several criteria being used by the City Accelerator to select cohort cities. The number of ratings or comments by themselves do not determine final status or selection.

4.7 out of 5 stars (200)

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The City Accelerator wants your feedback. Ask a question or share your thoughts on the problem and the proposed approach - and we welcome your comment on what a solution would mean for city residents

Be part of the campaign for civic innovation at the City Accelerator, presented by Citi Foundation.

Monique Campbell

On: 06-03-2019

This is a great idea that needs to happen! It is deliberate and measureable. I can't wait and we as a City cannot wait.

Marvita Oliver

On: 05-30-2019

Marvita Oliver It’s great to see deliberate and intentional activities to address the obvious inequity that exists in the ecommunity, as well as in hiring overall. Thanks Nia and KCBizCare.

Denise Adams

On: 05-30-2019

There a many visionaries in the KCMO area that want the minority business community to succeed and smash the barriers that affect them. This is a great opportunity!

Matthew W. Marcus

On: 05-15-2019

What a well-rounded video. Super informative. Excited for what KC is on track to deliver and produce, hopefully with a City Accelerator win in hand. :) Nice work, Nia! #StartupKC


On: 05-15-2019

KCMO leading the way!


On: 05-14-2019

KC still struggles with lack of diversity and inclusion because it is a city that only sees black and white. They fail time-and-time again to include people of color from other ethnic backgrounds, members of the LGBTQ community, and individuals from various communities of faith. Only when and if they take a diverse concept to diversity can the city begin to move forward as it continues to grow. Not sure this grant will help with that issue or mentality.

Tahir Atwater

On: 05-14-2019

The Development and Growth of a city can't be a success if it's not equitable. KC is poised for great things but only if we invest in a more collaborative, inclusive and equitable process. This is desperately needed.

Shaun Stallworth

On: 05-14-2019

This is absolutely necessary. We need this type of commitment in the community.

Dr. Annalise Halstead

On: 05-14-2019

One of the strongest and most vibrant places for thought leaders. The citizens of the KC area have cutting edge and innovative ideas that allow us to connect with one another as small business owners. However, the strong alliances between communities/businesses is not just limited to KC because small business owners really take the extra step in helping those around them to climb the ladder of success - globally. It's such an honor to be part of a great city where amazing small business owners have come together in a powerful way to create a thriving ecosystem where everyone can have a piece of success.

Dawn Hupp

On: 05-14-2019

Kansas City is unlimited when it comes to potential! This will enhance the community in many ways & provide even more opportunities for growth.

Jamilah Jones

On: 05-13-2019

Excited for what's to come in Kansas City!!! Let's Get IT!!

Anthony W

On: 05-13-2019

This sounds like a great opportunity for our city of KC which is going through so much growth and expansion. Really an amazing place to work and live!

Daniel Serda

On: 05-13-2019

KCMO's City Accelerator proposal offers a great start for transformative change. Enhancing MBE participation is a critical first step in opening the landscape of opportunity to build wealth and transform businesses and communities.

Crystal Sheffield

On: 05-13-2019

Looking forward to what Nia and how she can impact the KC Community by coming together to create equitable opportunities for folks from all walks of life.

heaven hamilton

On: 05-13-2019

Yes, please!!!

McClain Bryant Macklin

On: 05-13-2019

This is so necessary!

Alex Braszko

On: 05-12-2019

Nia and Kansas City working hard to improve the community!!!

Leoni Segura

On: 05-12-2019

Wow this is much needed in Kansas City! Thank you Nia for pushing our city to be better!

Philip Hickman

On: 05-11-2019

This is great for our city. I believe in the city where I grew up and know that we will continue to make strides in being inclusive, but as the statistics display we must be intentional about it so thanks

James L Bogle

On: 05-11-2019

I think it is great but want to challenge the City to do even more for the Underserved resources in our great city.

Heather Spalding

On: 05-11-2019

I think this would be great in KC

Brian E

On: 05-11-2019


Donald Hawkins

On: 05-11-2019

Problems can't been fixed without first being acknowledged that they exist. Instead of wallowing in pity, Kansas City is rolling up it's sleeves to do what needs to be done. We (KC) are ready.


On: 05-10-2019

Fantastic I am so excited for Kansas City !! This is so need for our community

KE Griffin

On: 05-10-2019

Thank you Lady Nia for implementing resouces to assist small businesses with preparing for the level in today's marketplace.

Kira hopkins

On: 05-10-2019

KC loves small minority biz!!

Gwendolyn Washington

On: 05-10-2019

Nia, thank you for being responsive to the needs of Entrepreneurship in Kansas City. Every generation “generates” hope and guidance for the next one. What you are doing is a game changer in building a solid foundation for entrepreneurs for years to come. Count me in!

Joseph Thomas

On: 05-10-2019

This is much needed for Kansas City. What Nia is doing and the charge that she is leading will be groundbreaking, educational and a great investment for generations yet to come. Economic development opportunities is not only needed in Kansas City but across the Nation. Housing affordability is something that are plaguing our Communities. I'm hoping that her efforts will not only be successful here in Kansas City but can be successful enough to help fix some of the issues throughout America.


On: 05-10-2019

Kansas City is a diverse city and opportunity equity needs to be a continuing conversation we have. The City Accelerator is a greats step in the right direction and Nia is the person to make it happen.

colleen doctorian

On: 05-10-2019

KC continues to look for innovative ways to help residents.


On: 05-09-2019

Kansas City has a great group of ecosystem leaders that would benefit a lot from being able to more clearly delineate the path to M/WBE contracts to the entrepreneurs they serve.

Kyle J Smith

On: 05-07-2019

KCMO is a GREAT place to do business. This makes it even better :)


On: 05-06-2019

Kansas City is on the move and doing some very innovative things. I have no doubt this will just increase the momentum


On: 05-03-2019

A decade ago the City of KCMO created the innovative KC Bizcare office which has reduced the burden to starting a business and led directly to an increase in entrepreneurial activity in Kansas City. Through this accelerator, I have no doubt it will help increase the number of M/WBEs, contracts awarded and the amount of contracting dollars that go to communities of color, especially under the leadership of Nia, the KC Bizcare staff and the City Manager's office.

Lauren Conaway

On: 05-03-2019

This type of resource is sorely needed in KC and beyond!

Susana Bruhn

On: 05-03-2019

Kansas City is prime, innovative and capable.

LaQueena Bolden

On: 05-03-2019

As an independent contractor, I'm excited for the future! There are a lot of small businesses that never happen because lack of knowledge and resources. This is the solution!

Crissy Dastrup

On: 05-03-2019

Nia is a rock star.

Crissy Dastrup

On: 05-03-2019

Kansas City Baby!


On: 05-03-2019

If anyone can move the needle in KC, it’s Nia.

Carrissa Dowdy

On: 05-02-2019

Awesome work! I look forward to supporting Nia and her team in ensuring Kansas City is successful in the efforts to improve equitable economic development in Kansas City.

Crystal Baird

On: 05-02-2019

As a Kansas Citian, the data Nia shared was shocking. We need to do more to become a more equitable and inclusive community, but we have talented folks like Nia and others who are furthering this goal. Becoming a cohort of the City Accelerator will provide meaningful opportunities to minority entrepreneurs. When diverse businesses succeed we all succeed.

Pat Gallagher

On: 05-02-2019

The word opportunities is is misspelled in the opening slide.


On: 05-02-2019

With Nia’s experience working for a small business, she understands the impact purchasing power can have on the growth of a small business. By creating more equitable contracting opportunities, our City can begin to foster the growth of more diverse businesses that are the true lifeblood of our communities.

Lauren Conaway

On: 05-02-2019

Nia and Rick have done an incredible job researching the issues preventing equitable access to entrepreneurial opportunity in KC. This proposed solution will help close the opportunity gap for so many minority families living and working in our city!

Rick Usher

On: 05-01-2019

Hey KC startup entrepreneur community, help us win this City Accelerator grant so we can assist small businesses in becoming certified and qualified for City procurement.