By: Don Macke with Ann Chaffin, e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
Special Thanks to Deb Markley and Dana Williams
Central Appalachia is a landscape rich in both culture and natural resources. It is also a landscape with biting poverty and residents struggling to realize the American dream of prosperity. The decline of king coal in Central Appalachia is creating a socio-economic crisis manifested in lack of economic opportunity and associated personal costs of substance abuse and community decline. Like other rural communities in distressed regions of the United States, this region has can do communities and community builders. Fostering entrepreneur-led development and entrepreneurial ecosystem building in Central Appalachia is foundational to creating pathways to community prosperity.
NetWork Kansas is the home for e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems, which is led by Don Macke, who has more than 40 years of community economic development and policy experience. The partnership between NetWork Kansas and e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems provides a platform to offer learning institutes, a consulting network, analytics support and mentoring to benefit the entrepreneurs, small businesses, resource partners and communities in Kansas as well as nationally.