Media Contact:

Bailee Henry

Senior Product Manager

E-Community Programs

[email protected]



Date: August 1, 2023

For Immediate Release





(Wichita, KS) – Sanction applications may now be submitted for the 11th Annual Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) Series. The YEC Series is a sequence of community-based entrepreneurship competitions for students in grades 6-12, culminating in a state championship. Last year, the YEC Series featured 56 local-level competitions featuring 1,136 high school and middle school students from all across Kansas. More than $90,000 in prize money was awarded to winners across the state.

“The 2023-2024 YEC Series was the biggest year for YEC yet. The exponential growth of the YEC Series has reiterated that there is a hunger for youth entrepreneurship in Kansas. Through this program, students learn practical life skills that will continue to benefit them throughout the rest of their lives. By investing in our youth, we are investing in the future of Kansas.” says Bailee Henry, Senior Product Manager of Entrepreneurship (E-) Community Programs.

The 26 communities within the Dane G. Hansen Foundation service area are still eligible to receive $3,000 to cover YEC Series expenses this year. $1,500 will cover their sanction fee, and $1,500 will be awarded for prize money. The Dane G. Hansen Foundation awarded a $30,000 grant to NetWork Kansas to remove the financial barrier to communities participating in the YEC Series. This grant allows all 26 counties in the northwest region to have equal access to participate in the YEC Series, which will strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem and provide the region’s youth with valuable knowledge and experiences.

Sarah LaRosh, Director of Entrepreneurship Engagement with NetWork Kansas states, “This has been a dream of mine for the YEC Series to be as common in area schools as debate, basketball, or drama. The skills youth learn through the YEC process helps in all areas of life. I firmly believe that youth entrepreneurship will be life changing for many stuents throughout Kansas.”

NetWork Kansas, a statewide entrepreneurial organization, coordinates the YEC Series and has released new materials to help support series coordinators, including updated guidelines for the competition and the release of an overview video produced by Sprout Communications:

Key dates for the 2023-2024 competition year include:

  • November 10, 2023 – Deadline for YEC Series sanction applications due to NetWork Kansas
  • March 19, 2024 – Cut-off for sanctioned community entrepreneurship competitions to be held
  • March 19, 2024 – Wildcard Entries for KEC State Championship Due
  • March 22, 2024 – Executive Summaries for KEC State Championship Due
  • April 16, 2024 – KEC State Championship

For more information or to register an event for sanction consideration, please visit:



NetWork Kansas, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, is dedicated to making entrepreneurship a priority for economic and community development in the State of Kansas. NetWork Kansas connects aspiring entrepreneurs, emerging and established businesses, to a deep network of business-building and community development resource organizations across the state. NetWork Kansas facilitates the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem within participating communities through the E-Community Partnership. Contributing factors to successful development include the 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. NetWork Kansas is also the home of e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (e2) and Entrepreneurial Growth Ventures. Visit:




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