FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                            November 23, 2020

Contact: Amara Kniep,
Product Manager, E-Community Programs, NetWork Kansas
Phone: 316-425-8832
Email: [email protected]

Wichita, KS – NetWork Kansas’ Entrepreneurship (E-) Community Partnership announces the 2020-2021 Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) Series. The YEC Series consists of local-level youth entrepreneurship competitions hosted by volunteers. The goal of the competition is to expose Kansas middle school and high school students to entrepreneurship. Forty-eight local events in Kansas cities and counties will culminate in a state championship hosted by Kansas State University, date TBD.  

“YEC has been a great program for our kids in Northwest Kansas. I see kids who normally don’t enjoy school actually get excited about developing and presenting their own business! All of a sudden, writing, research, and math makes sense because it is something they are interested in,” says Brandi Jones, teacher at Colby Middle School in Colby, KS.

Local YEC Series events require students to prepare an executive summary and four-minute presentation, and often feature interactive tradeshows or elevator pitches. Students compete for awards and prizes. Students’ work is judged by local entrepreneurs, public sector partners, teachers, and other community members. With the COVID-19 pandemic taking place, communities will have the ability to offer this program virtually as well. The first place business idea at each local YEC Series competition qualifies to compete at the state championship. Up to fifteen additional business ideas can earn the right to participate at the state championship through a wildcard application process.   

“The YEC Series helps students gain experience with creative problem solving and confidence in presenting their ideas to others. The competitions can help students feel more connected to their community as they think of needs they could fill in their local area. This year we expect the YEC Series to involve over 45 competitions and 1,000 students. This is huge, especially in the midst of a pandemic,” says Amara Kniep, Manager of E-Community Programs.

Competitions in the 2020-2021 YEC Series will be hosted in: Barton County, Bourbon County, Chautauqua County, Cherokee County, Cheyenne County, Clay County, Cowley County, Crawford County, Douglas County, Edwards County, Ellis County, Ford County, Greeley County, Harvey County, Kiowa County, Labette County, Leavenworth County, Lincoln County, Logan County, Marion County, McPherson County, Mitchell County, Montgomery County, Morris County, Morton County, Neosho County, Norton County, Pawnee County, Phillips County, Pottawatomie County, Rawlins County, Reno County, Republic County, Rice County, Riley County, Rooks County, Russell County, Saline County, Scott County, Sedgwick County, Seward County, Sherman County, Smith County, Thomas County, Wichita County, and Wyandotte County. KC BizFest is also participating in the YEC Series.

During 2019-2020, 793 students from more than forty-five Kansas communities participated in forty local entrepreneurship competitions as part of the YEC series. The 2020-2021 academic year marks the eighth annual YEC series coordinated by NetWork Kansas and the E-Community Partnership.

For more information, contact Amara Kniep, Manager of E-Community Programs, at [email protected].

For more information about NetWork Kansas or the E-Community Partnership, visit


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