A huge round of applause to our affiliate partners NetWork Kansas for providing 50,000 referrals to entrepreneurs and small business owners across the state of Kansas.
Launched in 2006 as part of the Kansas Economic Growth Act, NetWork Kansas regularly connects entrepreneurs of all stages and types, including Microenterprises, Main Street, Second Stage, Innovation-Led entrepreneurs and those who just want to know more about Kansas entrepreneurship. (Read more about the different types of entrepreneurs).
Why referrals matter
Many communities have an abundance of business development resources, but often entrepreneurs can’t find them or they reach out to the wrong one and have a bad experience. It’s critical to give entrepreneurs fast, easy access to a “clearinghouse” that can help them find the right resource for their challenge, industry and business stage.
That’s where NetWork Kansas comes in. By providing a go-to hub for business owners, the path to entrepreneurship is much easier. Entrepreneurs can call or go online to find out the next steps to start or grow a business in Kansas. These referrals are then measured and tracked by NetWork Kansas to gain further insight in the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. With this valuable data, NetWork Kansas knows the impact and progress its making toward supporting entrepreneurship.
Connecting resources statewide
Each year, NetWork Kansas directly connects more than 4,000 Kansas entrepreneurs to the resources, funding and training they need to start and grow their businesses—and supports tens of thousands more through its online presence.
By mapping a network of vetted business resource partners into a directory free for everyone to use, NetWork Kansas is lowering the barrier of entrepreneurship to ensure it is easier for business owners to access the information they need. These resource partners are ecosystem builders: public libraries, small business development centers, universities, community colleges and business associations.
Today, NetWork Kansas’ 500+ partner network is so strong that Kansas entrepreneurs can easily access the resources from partners located in their home community or region. In rural areas of the state, NetWork Kansas has helped to create an active rural entrepreneurial culture and helped establish committed communities of support for the entrepreneurs in these parts of the state.
Empowering rural entrepreneurship
Not only has NetWork Kansas mapped the state’s resource partners for entrepreneurs, they sponsor several signature programs for Kansas entrepreneurs.
The E-Community Partnership program allows a town or a county to raise seed money for local entrepreneurs through donations from individuals or businesses within the community. They’ve also launched and expanded the Economic Gardening Network connecting second-stage companies that have the capacity to grow their businesses with significant sophisticated technical assistance such as GIS, market research, SEO tools, social media monitoring, and sales lead generation.
NetWork Kansas manages a number of funding opportunities available to Kansas business owners, with the E-Communities being one. Another initiative provides seed capital to entrepreneurs and small business owners in rural and distressed areas of Kansas. The Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship Tax Credit was created to stimulate this effort.
Congrats again to NetWork Kansas for ensuring business ideas and startups can and do come true for entrepreneurs across Kansas.
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