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NetWork Kansas Provides Tools to Cultivate Second-Stage Businesses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                              
October 25, 2016

Contact: Imagene Harris
Phone: 785-296-0383

Wichita, Kansas, October 25, 2016 --- NetWork Kansas announced today twenty additional openings for businesses to participate in the Kansas Economic Gardening Program.  Thanks in part to a grant received from the Kauffman Foundation to facilitate business assistance projects in Kansas, twenty (20) second-stage businesses will be sent through the Kansas Economic Gardening program. There is no cost to the business. This program helps businesses grow intentionally by connecting them to a team of trained research analysts. Each company will receive individualized data specific to their business’ strategic needs.

“Economic Gardening is an innovative, entrepreneur-centered, growth strategy focused on providing tools to cultivate second-stage businesses,” said Steve Radley, President & CEO of NetWork Kansas. “These are companies that are actively growing and ready to take their businesses to the next level.”

Kansas companies who participated in an earlier pilot of the Kansas Economic Gardening program experienced an increase in annual revenues during a two-year period of more than $30.3 million at an average annual growth rate of 16.1%. During the same time period, other second-stage Kansas companies only reported a 2.1% increase in revenue and second-stage companies nationwide reported a .5% increase in revenue.

“With access to critical research and other tools to grow our business, we have really fine-tuned and realigned our sales approach,” said Curtis Whitten, President & CEO of VendTech Enterprises. “I still can’t believe there were no costs for this information! I’m confident we will see a major impact on our revenues.”

To be eligible, companies must be a second-stage businesses headquartered and operating in Kansas for at least the past two years. The businesses' annual revenues should be $500,000 to $50 million and have five to 100 current employees. They must demonstrate some form of growth in employment or revenue in two of the past five years. Additionally, these businesses must provide product(s) and/or services outside the current service area to regional and national markets.

Qualified businesses must be referred by a NetWork Kansas partner, which includes any of NetWork Kansas' 59 partnering Entrepreneurship (E-) Communities. The 20 available spots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Pioneered in 1989 by the city of Littleton, Colorado; Economic Gardening embraces strategies to grow existing 2nd stage businesses by providing them with valuable business-intelligence tools such as sophisticated databases that identify market trends, potential partners or competitors and unknown resources buried deep inside industry information; geographic information systems; and digital marketing applications that can look into search engine optimization, track websites, blogs and online communities to see what people are saying about companies and products.  By supporting existing businesses in a community that are poised for growth, economic gardening encourages the development of essential infrastructure that sustains long-term, internally-propelled economic growth.

For more information about Economic Gardening, contact Imagene Harris at (785) 296-0383.

For E-Communities interested in more information, please contact your NetWork Kansas E-Community regional representative or e-mail

About NetWork Kansas:
NetWork Kansas was established as a component of the Kansas Economic Growth Act of 2004 to further entrepreneurship and small business growth as a priority for economic and community development in the State of Kansas. Backed by more than 500 partners statewide, the NetWork Kansas service promotes an entrepreneurial environment by connecting entrepreneurs and small business owners with the expertise, education and economic resources they need in order to succeed.

NetWork Kansas facilitates the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem within participating communities through the E-Community Partnership. Contributing factors to successful development include availability of financial capital, support by local leadership and development of educational resources. All of these factors combine to increase entrepreneurial activity in participating towns, leading to increased startup activity, business expansion, job creation and more.

For more information about NetWork Kansas, visit, or call 877.521.8600