Patterson Family Foundation tops $1 million in Support to NetWork Kansas to Benefit Entrepreneurs, Grow Organizational Capacity








News Release – For Immediate Release                                               

Contact:  Erik Pedersen, President and Chief Operating Officer

NetWork Kansas

877-521-8600 [email protected]


January 10, 2023

Patterson Family Foundation tops $1 million in Support to NetWork Kansas to Benefit Entrepreneurs, Grow Organizational Capacity

Wichita, Kansas –The Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship DBA NetWork Kansas announced receiving a $552,350 grant award from the Patterson Family Foundation. The grant award is the second $500,000+ award NetWork Kansas has received to benefit entrepreneurs while growing organizational capacity.

The current award focuses on providing 30% grant offsets to qualified E-Community loans focusing on three critical sectors in the 69 Entrepreneurship (E-) Communities: childcare, food (inclusive of restaurants, providers and grocery stores) and businesses starting or opening in vacant Main Street buildings. The initial grant, awarded earlier in 2022, was used to convert portions of approved loans to grants and to hire an additional staff member to support the work of NetWork Kansas’ Entrepreneurship (E-) Community Partnership. Early successes from the initial grant include:

  • Clark and Domonik Siemsen, who launched North Side, LLC, a wood-fire pizza and community gathering space in Belleville
  • 19-year-old Brinley Klein, who returned to her hometown of Jetmore following completing cosmetology school to open her own company, Salon B.
  • The launch of “Idle Hour Books”: a brick-and-mortar in Allen County that is part of the Bolder Humboldt community reimagining effort

“The Patterson Family Foundation is proud to continue supporting the efforts by NetWork Kansas to engage rural communities and support their economic development growth,” said Lindsey Patterson Smith, President, Patterson Family Foundation. “My father believed in the power of entrepreneurship within a community and knew that access to capital is a big part of its success. NetWork Kansas is helping make that happen across the state and our Foundation is honored for the opportunity to support them in that work.”

The E-Community Partnership cultivates an entrepreneurial environment by establishing a locally-controlled loan fund to assist entrepreneurs with capital and then working with local leadership teams to develop creative methods of augmenting the capital with technical assistance.

“We are incredibly honored by the continued support of the Patterson Family Foundation,” said Erik Pedersen, President and COO of NetWork Kansas. “The ability to develop impactful gap financing options for rural entrepreneurs is at the heart of our work. Having the Patterson Family Foundation join us to create this new grant/loan funding option which focuses on three critical rural community sectors is groundbreaking. This program gives rural communities the opportunity to build needed businesses, and it puts many vital businesses in a better financial position to thrive in Kansas.”

More than 850 Kansas residents participate on sixty-nine local E-Community leadership teams. These teams meet regularly with an E-Community regional manager to set goals, take action, and create a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in their communities.

In calendar year 2022, Entrepreneurship (E-) Communities approved a total of 86 loans representing $2.59 million in funding. Since inception, E-Communities approved a total of 872 loans totaling $28.2 million in gap financing.  42% of the businesses are startups and 31% are expansions; 49% are service sector and 28% are retail; and 46% are located in towns with a population under 5,000.


The Patterson Family Foundation is a family-led foundation extending the legacy of Neal and Jeanne Patterson by supporting the healthcare, education, and economic opportunity of rural communities.

About NetWork Kansas:
NetWork Kansas was established as a component of the Kansas Economic Growth Act of 2004 to further entrepreneurship and small business growth as a priority for economic and community development in the State of Kansas. Backed by more than 500 partners statewide, the NetWork Kansas service promotes an entrepreneurial environment by connecting entrepreneurs and small business owners with the expertise, education and economic resources they need in order to succeed.

NetWork Kansas facilitates the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem within participating communities through the E-Community Partnership. Contributing factors to successful development include availability of financial capital, support by local leadership and development of educational resources. All of these factors combine to increase entrepreneurial activity in participating towns, leading to increased startup activity, business expansion, job creation and more.

For more information about the Entrepreneurship (E-) Community Partnership, visit or call 877.521.8600.



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