(Andover, Kansas) – Two communities have been selected by NetWork Kansas to participate in NetWork Kansas’ Entrepreneurship (E-) Community Partnership. The new additions are: Sumner and Decatur County. Each community was selected through a competitive process.

The new additions bring the total number of E-Communities served to the highest-ever in the organization’s history.

“NetWork Kansas will be a tremendous resource for Decatur County in helping better business resources, along with having many resources for future business startups and expanding existing businesses in Decatur County,” said Sharee Dempewolf: Oberlin-Decatur County Economic Development Corporation & Decatur Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director. “I look forward to working with NetWork Kansas closely to bring some of their amazing programs to Decatur County.”

Selection into the prestigious E-Community Partnership means these counties will play a key role in helping their local entrepreneurs gain access to business funding as well as a number of entrepreneurship support programming including:  Ice House Entrepreneurial Mindset, Destination BootCamp®, Maker Space Boot Camp, Entrepreneur Business Basics, Growing Rural Businesses, and the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge Series.

“Sumner County Economic Development believes in the importance of partnerships for the vibrant growth of communities,” said Stacy Davis, Executive Director, Sumner County Economic Development Commission. “The programs offered through this partnership will enable the entrepreneurs and businesses within Sumner County to realize additional resources available for vital and sustainable growth.”

“The E-Community Partnership, now in its seventeenth year, has grown from six communities in 2007 to 75 as we conclude FY24,” said Sarah LaRosh, Director of Entrepreneurship Engagement with NetWork Kansas. “To date, these communities have provided $32.4 million of E-Community gap financing loans to 962 businesses, leveraging an additional $149.9 million of public and private capital. With the launch of GROWKS over a year ago, the E-Community Partnership has never been more important to the entrepreneurial landscape in Kansas. We welcome these two new E-Communities and look forward to doing impactful work together.”


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 the Entrepreneurship (E-) Community Partnership, visit or call 877.521.8600.



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