Your Library Means Business

You’ve got an idea for a business, but you’re not sure how to take your vision from back of the napkin to balance sheet. Typing “how to write a business plan” in your search engine mostly yields a bunch of unhelpful (if hilarious) corporate memes and clips from The Office. How can you find useful resources that will energize your entrepreneurial endeavors?

The Library helps set you up for success in your business or career goals. We support a range of services, from assisting those who want to grow their skill sets and search for their next jobs to one-on-one consultations with small business owners and entrepreneurs. Need help writing a business plan? Want to expand your marketing impact? Looking for insight into local agencies and groups that support entrepreneurship? We connect you with the people, organizations, and services that can make it all happen.

The story below is just one real-life example of how the Library can be your best business partner. Act on your ideas by exploring our small business and entrepreneurship resources, or connect with our staff to start a conversation. Whatever your goals, the Library is a great place to begin your professional journey.  


 Job & Career  |  Nonprofit  |  Small Business & Entrepreneurship   |  Your Money  


Hadiza Sa-Aadu is the Library’s small business engagement specialist. With a background that includes marketing, sales, and data analytics, Hadiza works with many in the Kansas City community to offer advice, provide guidance, and simply figure out what they need to turn their passions into paychecks. As part of the Community Reference team, Hadiza supports the Library’s efforts to grow and invest in our city’s homegrown talent by offering access to tools, information, expertise, and opportunities.  

Hadiza’s work connecting patrons to business resources was underscored in a recent story on the KCSourceLink website about the owner of a local plus-size resale clothing store that has prospered despite the pandemic.   

Alesha Bowman built her business, UnLESHed+, from an online sideline into a small outlet inside a yoga studio and ultimately a storefront location at 39th and Troost that opened last July. Among the places she went for help was the Library and its Community Reference team. “They have a person who works with small businesses and helps them find resources,” Bowman told KCSourceLink, which specializes in entrepreneurship networking and support. “I worked with Hadiza Sa-Aadu on ways to build revenue. I’m against loans because I have student loans, so I’m not interested in loans. But we were finding other ways to increase revenue, get sponsorship.”  

Bowman also maintained a lively social media presence. UMKC’s student newspaper picked up on her story, which spread through syndication. And Bowman landed via video interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. DeGeneres added a generous donation, covering Bowman’s rent for the next year.  

via KC Sourcelink
Alesha Bowman consulted Library resources as she was planning her business. | Photo: KC Sourcelink


In a recent feature for the Urban Libraries Council, Hadiza talked about the Kansas City Public Library’s efforts the past few years to identify ways it can assist patrons looking to build or grow businesses:  

“When I first started my position as Kansas City Public Library’s small business engagement specialist in 2019, one of my first objectives was to learn as much as I could as quickly as possible about Kansas City’s ‘business resource network.’ … After three months into my role, I learned that the vast majority of patrons looking for business resources or asking business-related questions are just at the beginning of their entrepreneurial journeys. They’re either strongly interested in becoming an entrepreneur or have an idea for forming a business. Many were using the library’s computers and internet on a regular basis. I would often sit at a service desk during my office hours and set up meetings with people who had just learned about our services. It may not have been top of mind before entering the library, but after having a conversation with me, they would often leave with a few obtainable goals to get them closer to the reality of entrepreneurship. In some cases, I would schedule a follow-up meeting to go into more depth on a question or issue.” 


Connect with Us 

The Library's Community Reference program can give you personalized assistance on career development, business planning, and money management. Schedule a one-on-one virtual appointment with our specialists. 


Job & Career  |  Nonprofit  |  Small Business & Entrepreneurship   |  Your Money 


Business and Nonprofit Resources  

Whether you're looking for tools to help with your job search or making use of databases to help you realize your startup dreams, the Library offers a wide collection of useful resources. 



Online Classes and Videos 

The Library regularly hosts special online sessions and webinars dedicated to business or career topics. Check out some of our recent editions available on our YouTube channel.  


Grants for Artists and Musicians 

Are you an artist or musician? Learn about emergency and project-based grant opportunities, how to prepare for them and where to find them. 


Strategic Planning for Small Business 

What is strategic planning and how can it help your small business? This series takes a deep dive into the core components of what creates an effective business strategy and how you can apply these concepts to your business for long term success. 



LinkedIn + Personal Branding 

Learn about best practices for using LinkedIn and how to tell your professional story through the platform.