By: John Paul Gendron, Manager, Referral Center Programs and Operations
True to its mission of connecting entrepreneurs and small business owners with the right resources when they are needed most, NetWork Kansas is nearing a milestone marker of providing 50,000 referrals across the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
"When NetWork Kansas was created and launched in March of 2006, one of the most critical components of the Kansas Economic Growth Act was to increase the connectivity between entrepreneurial support organizations and the entrepreneur," explains CEO Steve Radley, "Through the partner network, the referral center and our partners have laid the foundation upon which every aspect of entrepreneurial assistance has been built!"
NetWork Kansas began its work to advance, connect and promote entrepreneurship across the state in March 2006.
In the early years, the majority of connections being made revolved around individuals and ideas — whether they were kicking-the-tires of entrepreneurship or actively pursuing a concept. Most of these individuals were funneled to service partners such as their local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) or a volunteer business mentor from a SCORE chapter.
NetWork Kansas is now the state’s leader in communicating with early-stage and existing business owners. Referral Coordinators who work through the organization streamline information-sharing while also identifying action items through partners such as the Kansas Secretary of State, the Kansas Department of Revenue and Internal Revenue Service, to name a few, as well as the statewide and local business licensing authorities. This streamlined approach helps less-experienced business owners become confident that they are operating legally in Kansas.
Examples of assistance provided include:
· Market Plan Development
· Access to Capital
· Export Assistance
As one of our clients shared: “I have sold my business and have passed the baton to the new owners. I let them know how Network Kansas can help them for the better.”
Beyond new and existing business, NetWork Kansas has a robust range of resources for companies looking to grow. Through our services, we’re able to introduce business owners to resources through the Center for Economic Development and Business Research (CEDBR), Wichita Technology Corporation (WTC), Patent & Trademark Resource Center and the Advanced Manufacturing Institute (AMI), as examples. Kansas Global Trade Services and US Commercial Services are also valuable partners to our work.
The ability to provide consistent assistance throughout the state is a valuable addition to any thriving ecosystem.
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 www.networkkansas.com, or call 877.521.8600.