Phyllis Robertson – Wichita’s newest entrepreneur

Phyllis Robertson

Phyllis Robertson

After five and a half years of service, Phyllis Robertson will leave her position as Vice President of Business Services at the Chamber. She has filled the role since 2009 when the position was created to evaluate how the Chamber could offer more resources and services to small business members. Phyllis has been a champion for small business members and local entrepreneurs, developing programs to assist them in growing their businesses.

“Phyllis has been instrumental in growing the programs available to our small business members, as well as a connector for small businesses and resources available in all parts of our community,” Chamber President Gary Plummer said. “We thank and congratulate Phyllis on her successful career with the Chamber, and wish her every success in the future.”

“There are so many wonderful people and businesses in Wichita, and I have truly enjoyed meeting and getting to know the stories of so many of them,” Phyllis said.

She plans to begin a new business venture as a consultant and executive coach. Her last day is August 28.

Should Wichita support startup companies?

By Phyllis Robertson

The answer is an absolute and unequivocal yes!  Entrepreneurism is a critical catalyst for the economy.  Studies show that startups account for about 70% of job creation globally, and in some markets, that figure grows as high as 90%.  Startups that use technology more effectively create, on average, twice as many jobs and are more productive and profitable than companies who don’t.

Furthermore, the shrinking lifecycle of many products and services due to advancement in technologies, and job displacement from automation mean that the creation of new industry sectors and products is essential.  For example, the printing industry is projected to lose 16% of its jobs by 2018, while motor vehicle parts manufacturing’s projected loss is almost 19%.  Even more extreme is semiconductor manufacturing which forecasts losing 33% of the jobs it had in 2008.

If we want Wichita to thrive and grow, then encouraging and supporting entrepreneurs is vital.  Startup Weekend Wichita is a creative way to do just that.  It provides an energizing environment for collaboration, exploration, and ideation.  It centers on technology – an essential sector for our future.  It’s an opportunity for entrepreneurs and other business professionals to work together on new ideas that just might generate a huge win.  At a minimum, it continues the conversations and momentum from last month’s ICT Unconference on strengthening our entrepreneurial ecosystem.

There are numerous ways the community can support the incredible entrepreneurial talent we have.  Get started and take advantage of the immediate opportunity to participate in Startup Weekend Wichita!

Phyllis Robertson
Vice President of Business Services
Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce