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e2 In-Depth: How hardship, leadership, philanthropy, and a 20-year vision built an entrepreneurial community

By: Don Macke, e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

Ord, Nebraska An Entrepreneurial Community


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In the 1980s Ord and its region were in crisis facing serious challenges and the potential it could go the way of so many other rural communities into continued decline losing vitality along the way. By the 1990s Ord was facing these challenges including confronting anti-change forces and the real risk of losing its hospital. During this decade Ord sought out help and began the all-important process of visioning a new future. The year 2000, in so many ways, is the pivot year from crisis and decline to a new road to development and prosperity. During the 2000s Ord began to make critically important commitments followed by investments laying the foundation for transformative change and impact. By the 2010 to 2020 period these commitments and investments moved Ord from decline to success. Our story, Ord, Nebraska An Entrepreneurial Community captures this transformation through the entrepreneurship lens.

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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.