lack Owned Business Kansas City was founded August 1st, 2012 because Marsha felt that Kansas City was lacking something when it came to business resources for African Americans in Kansas City. She felt as if she didn’t have a friend in business; there was a lack of COMMUNITY. She created the BOBKC so that she could have other entrepreneurs who look like her, to lean on and learn from. Initially the main focus was to ensure that we were keeping black dollars within black communities by helping to foster new business opportunities, supporting one another and connecting customers with black owned businesses.
Over the years our virtual community has grown to over 30,000 members and has served as a hub for entrepreneurs to connect, advertise their businesses, support events, and find other black businesses to support. Our members range from entrepreneurs, to public servants, to professionals to customers and everyone in between. After the pandemic hit in 2020, Black Owned Business Kansas City played a vital role in the lives of entrepreneurs across Kansas City. With a shuttered city, jobs eliminated and people worried about how they would make ends meet, many had to get creative about how to earn a living. There was also a surge of new business owners who were able to connect to customers for the first time. Black Owned Business Kansas City virtual marketplace allowed business owners the continued opportunity to promote their businesses. During this time, Marsha began getting messages from members expressing gratitude for the community and some acknowledging that the BOBKC community is the only way they were able to make money and provide for their families.
In all of the history of BOBKC prior to the pandemic, we have never been thanked for our existence. Marsha knew that BOBKC was an asset to entrepreneurs; now she could actually feel the importance of the Facebook community. However, she felt that it was not enough. Marsha wanted to make a greater social impact within the Kansas City Black Business Ecosystem and began to shift BOBKC from being a more of a marketplace to becoming an Entrepreneur Services Organization (ESO). In 2021 she began researching, attending more city meetings, connecting with other organizations and leaders. In January 2022 BOBKC became a business then in November 2022 a non-profit arm, The Black Owned Business Kansas City Foundation was added to the organization.
Moving forward we have evolved to provide business resources, meaningful connections, events and other tools that will help entrepreneurs within our community not only thrive but feel that they have friends within the community that are truly devoted to seeing them win. Helping to close the racial wealth gap while building a better, stronger, more connected community.
An ecosystem-style community. We are each other’s clients, friends, vendors, partners, mentors, funders, accountability partners and even sometimes co-founders.
We are the #1 community for Black Business in Kansas City!
Welcome to Black Owned Business Kansas City.