e2 Feature
NetWork Kansas’ Entrepreneurial Communities Program
Best in Class in Rural America

NetWork Kansas (created in 2004) is most likely North America’s most robust, longest running and highest impact statewide community-centered entrepreneurial ecosystem-building initiative. Central to NetWork Kansas’ remarkable sustained level of entrepreneurial deal flow is its Entrepreneurship (E-) Community Partnership, launched in 2007. Erik Pedersen, President and COO, leads NetWork Kansas’ E-Community Program that now saturates many of both Kansas’ rural and, increasingly, distressed urban communities. NetWork Kansas’ Entrepreneurship Community Partnership is best in class and offers inspiration and learning opportunities for both rural and urban communities.
Other e2 News
The Entrepreneurial Ground Game
The Heart of Impactful Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

When American ecosystem builders gather, we often talk about the entrepreneurial programs we offer to support entrepreneurs and their development. Programs and resources are essential for high-performing ecosystems. However, e2’s field experience is clear – do not begin with programs and resources! Begin working with area entrepreneurs, build relationships, learn about their needs and wants and then network them to available relevant resources. This is the entrepreneurial ground game. Through working with entrepreneurs, we can gain strategic insight into the strengths and weaknesses of our ecosystems’ development and operational efforts. To learn more, check out our recent paper prepared for Nebraska’s E3 Energizing Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Initiative.
News Shorts
Attraction Versus Entrepreneurship. Dan Hoffman with Invest Nebraska recently made the point that Nebraska with a 2020 population of just 1.9 million resident spends roughly $164 million annually on economic development. Over 90% of this economic development spending is focused on business attraction tax incentives and less than 10% of entrepreneurship. If just 10% of the business attraction incentive spending was shifted to entrepreneurship $15 million in new investment could be realized. $15 million would fund 150 (at $100,00 per position) entrepreneur coaches capable of transforming Nebraska’s economy. For more information contact Don Macke at don@e2mail.org.  

SourceLink Nebraska.  Maria Meyers and her team in Kansas City pioneered with support from the Kauffman Foundation the first SourceLink entrepreneurial resource system. NetWork Kansas was among the early statewide entrepreneurial ecosystem-building resources. SourceLink Nebraska is among one of the newest statewide SourceLink resources. SourceLink Nebraska, just a year into operation, is off to an impactful start. Learn more.

NetWork Kansas. The NetWorked Partnership for Community Investment has announced its 2nd Annual NetWorked for Change Conference. The conference, which will feature a rural track, is scheduled for May 25, 2023 at the Wichita Hyatt. NetWorked’s mission is to connect unconnected networks and close gaps between people, information and assets to develop pathways that boldly solve community challenges. e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems is among the coordination team for NetWorked and regularly participates in virtual convenings to highlight resources that can be implemented across the state. Learn more.