Solving problems is a characteristic of all entrepreneurs. Yes, a lot of people are visionaries, risk-takers, and innovators.

But the fundamental issue that underpins all entrepreneurial endeavours is: What problem am I/are we trying to solve?

So, as a group of business thought leaders gathered together to discuss the issue of child care at Springfield Business Journal’s recent Economic Growth Series Inspiration Hour, I thought: An entrepreneur can fix this. You can make child care your full-time job if child care is preventing you from finding a full-time job. Start a childcare facility to meet a need in the community and earn your new living. Of course, it seems a lot less complicated than the complicated world of state licencing, securing a welcoming and safe facility, and taking care of the children of other working parents. But that’s what businesspeople do—simplify complex issues so that others can avoid them. to be compensated in return.

A good example is Christina Ford and her brand-new Kids Inn Child Care.

A tale started to emerge as the ideas developed throughout the Economic Growth Series group exercise, from speaking with an employer about flextime to looking for a partnership of firms to provide child care. To fill the gap in accessible child care facilities, the market is clamouring for entrepreneurs. Karen Craigo, an SBJ reporter, witnessed it and wrote about it here.

Ford is at the centre of the narrative since it was one of the initial child care firms that received a total of $19 million in state incentives. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has monies available for individuals willing to take a chance and find a solution to the child care issue because the need is so acute. 161 awards totaling over 8,000 kid slots were given to approved care institutions in the first round.

In the narrative, Ford used her background as a mother of five kids to prove that she was qualified for the position. Her work in developing and managing The Rebound Foundation with her husband, NCAA basketball coach Dana Ford, has been equally empowering.

Christina Ford’s company is one of the average amount of women-owned businesses in Missouri when compared to other states. According to calculations made by Deputy, a maker of software to manage staffing schedules, there are 3,021 women-owned small businesses in Missouri for every 100,000 individuals. Missouri reflects its geographic location in the United States, which is in the middle, in this statistical snapshot. According to a Deputy research, there are 3,390 women-owned small enterprises nationwide for every 100,000 individuals. According to the survey, Florida and Washington, D.C., rank first and second, respectively, with over 4,700 and under 2,600 women-owned small businesses per 100,000 residents, respectively, while West Virginia and Wisconsin rank last with under 2,600 each.

Bravo to Ford and the others who answered the call. More business owners like her are more than welcome, whether they are men or women. Opportunities in business are gender-neutral.

We’ll solve this issue collectively. A village is indeed necessary.

Eric Olson, the editorial vice president of the Springfield Business Journal, may be reached at