Steve Radley is the President and CEO of the Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship DBA NetWork Kansas. Since the launch in March of 2006, the NetWork Kansas partner network has assisted more than 25,000 entrepreneurs making more than 50,000 referrals. NetWork Kansas has multiple loan programs and a venture fund that have provided loans and investments of more than $40 million to Kansas businesses with total leveraged capital exceeding $400 million. In 2007, NetWork launched the nationally recognized Entrepreneurship (E-) Community Partnership. There are now 63 E-Communities working to create stronger entrepreneurial ecosystems across Kansas.
Erik Pederson is the Vice President of Entrepreneurship for NetWork Kansas, Erik is responsible for all aspects of the Entrepreneurship (E-) Community Partnership. An E-Community uses a local leadership team to oversee a loan fund, engage with resources and implement programs and initiatives that will cultivate an entrepreneurial environment in rural Kansas communities as well as distressed areas of urban communities. To date, the 64 E-Communities have provided over $19.8M in matching loans and grants to over 580 businesses.
NetWork Kansas is devoted to the growth of entrepreneurship and small businesses throughout the state of Kansas. Our mission is to promote an entrepreneurial environment by providing a central portal that connects entrepreneurs and small business owners with the right resources—Expertise, Education and Economic Resources—when they are needed most. In pursuit of this mission, we partner with well-respected business development organizations and educational institutions that work with entrepreneurs and small business owners who have the vision and potential to succeed. The result is a seamless system that accelerates economic and community development in Kansas.
Established by the Kansas Economic Growth Act of 2004 (KEGA) as the Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship, NetWork Kansas became operational at the beginning of the 2006 fiscal year. The NetWork Kansas portal is available statewide and currently enables entrepreneurs and small business owners to connect with 500+ NetWork Kansas partners throughout the state.