It’s a big day for entrepreneurship in Kansas City. As Ivy League Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business winds up its Minority Business Entrepreneurs program here in town and Techweek Kansas City continues spotlighting the local tech community, the Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program (HEMP) started its 20-member 2016 class on their own individual mentorship journeys.
HEMP matches seasoned, successful entrepreneur mentors with less-experienced mentees. Barnett Helzberg Jr., former owner and president of Helzberg Diamonds, founded the program in 1995, seeking to give others the same benefit he derived from his own mentoring relationship with Ewing Kauffman.
More than 300 entrepreneurs have benefited from HEMP since its founding. And Barnett Helzberg, Jr. welcomes the opportunity to help “I feel very fortunate to have been mentored throughout the various phases of my business career,” he said, “and HEMP is one way for many of us to give back to the entrepreneurial community.”
And a wide-ranging community it is. The types of businesses represented this year are: real estate, communication, healthcare, facility maintenance, retailing, building & construction, pet nutrition, electronics recycling, online design & marketing, adoption services, product manufacturing & distribution, insurance and the restaurant business.