Kyle Geary — The Hale Center For Journalism
Representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration visited Kansas City on January 22. Dr. Winslow Sargeant, chief counsel for advocacy, and Becky Greenwald, regional advocate for Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, participated in 1 Million Cups before attending a closed meeting with entrepreneurs.
Sargeant holds a national position in the government that focuses on entrepreneurs.
“My role is to amplify the voice within the executive branch and before Congress and federal agencies,” he said. “That means that we give a voice to small business, especially in the rule-making process.”
Greenwald’s role is similar, albeit at a regional level.
“I have the opportunity to interact with and help small business owners, entrepreneurs, innovators be successful,” she said. “(I) help remove any barriers or obstacles that they may see, shine a light on issues or concerns and help improve the success rate for small businesses by being out there and listening and feeding information into our office in Washington, D.C.”
After the presentations at 1 Million Cups, Sargeant and Greenwald reflected on their visit to the Kauffman Foundation.
“It’s one thing to hear about 1 Million Cups, but its another thing to be in the room,” Sargeant said. “I think this is a model that will go outside this country.”
Greenwald occasionally attends 1 Million Cups events around the country but notes that it is different in Kansas City.
“1 Million Cups has expanded,” she said. “Their first expansion was into West Des Moines area, so I was there. I’ve been in the eastern Iowa 1 Million Cups, but nothing beats coming here at the mother-ship, where you see the excitement and the energy that happens every Wednesday at 9 a.m. It’s just a fantastic opportunity to come together, help each other share ideas and go on to greatness.”