StartUp Kansas

Program Summary - StartUp Kansas

StartUp Kansas provides gap financing to help entrepreneurs start or grow a business in Kansas. The loan program matches other public sources of capital and can provide up to $45,000 per project. Funds are flexible and can be used for a variety of business purposes, including equipment, inventory, and working capital. Entrepreneurs work with a NetWork Kansas resources partner to apply for funds. 

StartUp Kansas was launched in August of 2006 to provide funding for startups and expansions of existing businesses in rural and distressed Kansas communities in the form of matching loans. Competitive rounds are held monthly and include the following key elements:

• Applications are submitted by NetWork Kansas partners on behalf of the entrepreneur. NetWork Kansas partners administer the loan and provide a minimum of 40% matching funds.  

• The StartUp Kansas Committee reviews and selects businesses based upon two primary criteria: 1) the business has the potential to be an economic driver in the sense that, if successful, it has the ability to grow and create additional jobs. Also, it may have the ability to generate wealth from outside the community; and 2) The business provides a benefit that the community perceives as either a necessity or a service that enhances the community in another way (restaurants, local newspapers, etc.). In these cases, the community benefit is weighted more heavily than job creation.  

These elements ensure the StartUp Kansas program provides risk capital to entrepreneurs and existing businesses which, if successful, will provide economic and community benefits to rural and distressed urban communities.  

StartUp Kansas - Disadvantaged Populations

Until recently, StartUp Kansas funds were only available to businesses in rural areas (less than 50K pop) and distressed areas of an urban city. This criteria has been recently expanded to include businesses located in an urban area that benefit a disadvantaged and/or underserved population, demonstrated in any of the following ways: 

  • Location: The business is located in an urban area with significant levels of distress by income (i.e. Shawnee County, Wyandotte County). Distressed is defined by the US Census Bureau as an area where 20% or more of the population is living below the poverty level. 
  • Low Income Employees: The business currently employs or will employ low income workers. 
  • Disadvantaged Status: The business owner and/or employees are from disadvantaged populations based on race/ethnicity, gender, and/or veteran’s status. This includes businesses with Women Business Enterprise (WBE), Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certifications 
  • provided by the Department of Commerce.
  • Products/Services: Business supports disadvantaged and/or under-served populations with products/services.
  • Mission: The mission of either the applying partner or the business seeking funding is to serve disadvantaged and/or underserved populations. 

Application Steps for StartUp Kansas

Are you a business owner?

  • Call (877) 521-8600 to find out if you qualify for funding and to be connected with an   appropriate NetWork Kansas resource partner.
Are you a resource partner, applying on behalf of a business?

New! Disadvantaged Populations

Until recently, StartUp Kansas funds were only available to businesses in rural areas (less than 50K pop) and distressed areas of an urban city. This criteria has been recently expanded to include businesses located in an urban area that benefit a disadvantaged and/or underserved population. Scroll down for more information. 

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