A business idea with roots in Venezuela took shape in the Kansas City area with entrepreneurial skills gained by one Johnson County Community College student.
Marcos Betancourt grew up in South America. His father supported a large family by owning and operating a large shop where he repaired and painted cars. The younger Betancourt moved to the Kansas City area in 2009.
The business acumen Betancourt unintentionally picked up from his father is helping him in the United States. Betancourt today works along side his brother in a family-owned flooring and installation company in northern Johnson County. Betancourt takes JCCC classes in the evening. His brother is taking JCCC classes in the morning.
“I never thought I was going to own a business when I first began taking art classes at JCCC,” Betancourt said. “I like art, painting and drawing, but I saw people in my art classes getting ready to graduate and finding it hard to get a job.”
At the same time, Betancourt’s brother was starting his own company and Betancourt started coming up with ideas to solve some of the issues he was facing. That’s when he visited with Donna Duffey, professor and chair of the entrepreneurship department, to identify some entrepreneurial classes to help him continue with business ideas to help his brother.
Betancourt explained the family business is a “one-stop” business concept where his family provides both the floor product and the professional installation.
“Early on in starting the business, we found consumers wanting work with companies that not only supply products but install and stand behind these products as well,” he said. “We created our company so our customers could return to us to help them if they had problems with the product and the manufacturer. It is working out really well.”
Betancourt lists Duffey as one of the JCCC faculty who has been instrumental to his success. He said Duffey listened to him, learned about his background and helped him pursue his dreams.“All the JCCC classes I’ve taken – from learning about franchising to improving my public speaking – helped me a lot,” he said. “Anyone starting a company or has a company but needs a little boost should take some of the JCCC entrepreneur classes. JCCC helped me in ways I never imagined.”