KCK Ranks High for Entrepreneurs

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A recent survey of small business owners ranks KCK among the easiest and friendliest locations in the nation to start a business. The thumbtack.com survey in conjunction with Kansas City's Kauffman Foundation ranked the Sunflower State tops in publicizing networking programs and ease of starting a small business.

After 10 years of teaching driver's education in public schools, Timothy Ney and his wife Jean decided to start their own driver's education business. They recognized a need as schools cut driver's ed programs and more accidents involving distracted teens made the news.

"I thought it would be very easy to transition into a commercial type situation. That wasn't the case at all. They are very different animals. The commercial and the public school side," said Tim Ney.

Before investing in a special car and starting to take teens out on the roads, the Neys enrolled in Operation Jumpstart First Step. It's an entrepreneurship training program that they credit with helping make their first year in business a success.

"We got a lot of support starting out the business. That climate of support really gives businesses a chance to succeed even when they are tiny like ours is right at the moment," Jean Ney said.

It's that support from the Chambers of Commerce and Small Business Development Centers that prompted entrepreneurs to rank KCK and Kansas tops in the nation for being an easy place to set up shop.

"I think truly this is the Midwest. and people want to see people succeed in business," said Cindy Cash. "I think that there's a good work ethic here. people understand honesty and fairness. When your providing business service, you really need to make your customers and clients trust you."

As the only commercial driving school in Wyandotte County, the Neys also say they're serving a community need and helping make the streets safer for all drivers.

The business climate rankings were complied by surveying 6,000 small business owners across the nation.

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