Wichita, Kan. July 19, 2016 –
The Kauffman Foundation recently awarded NetWork Kansas a grant to facilitate business assistance projects in Kansas. A portion of the grant funds will be utilized to send a select number of second-stage Kansas businesses through the Kansas Economic Gardening program.
Economic gardening helps businesses grow intentionally by connecting business owners with a team of trained research analysts to provide up to 36 hours of research on a strategic topic.
“Economic gardening and the research team were amazing! Since the engagement we have hired many new people including a sales director!” Jeremy Rusco, CEO of Dynamic Discs in Emporia, Kansas.
Kansas companies who participated in an earlier pilot of the Kansas Economic Gardening program experienced an increase in annual revenues during a two-year period of more than $30.3 million at an average annual growth rate of 16.1%. During the same time period, other second-stage Kansas companies reported a 2.1% increase in revenue and second-stage companies nationwide reported a .5% increase in revenue.
Eligible second-stage businesses will have been headquartered and operating in Kansas for at least the past two years. The businesses’ annual revenues should be $600,000 to $50 million and they should have 5 to 100 current employees. Second-stage businesses will have demonstrated some form of growth in employment or revenue in two of the past five years. Additionally, eligible businesses provide product(s) and/or services outside the current service area to regional and national markets.
In order to utilize the program, businesses will need to be referred to the program by a NetWork Kansas partner, which includes any of NetWork Kansas’ 55 partnering Entrepreneurship (E-) Communities.
The grant funds will be used to fully subsidize the cost of economic gardening engagements for up to 24 Kansas businesses. The businesses can be located anywhere in Kansas, including any one of NetWork Kansas’s (E-) Communities. The 24 available spots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
Pioneered in 1989 by the city of Littleton, Colorado; Economic Gardening embraces strategies to grow existing 2nd stage businesses by providing them with valuable business-intelligence tools such as sophisticated databases that identify market trends, potential partners or competitors and unknown resources buried deep inside industry information; geographic information systems; and digital marketing applications that can look into search engine optimization, track websites, blogs and online communities to see what people are saying about companies and products. By supporting existing businesses in a community that are poised for growth, economic gardening encourages the development of essential infrastructure that sustains long-term, internally-propelled economic growth.
Contact – For more information about Economic Gardening, contact Imagene Harris at (785) 296-0383.
For E-Communities interested in more information, please contact your NetWork Kansas E-Community regional representative or e-mail boardcertified@networkkansas.