Start your dream in Lawrence.

Lawrence fosters an entreprenurial spirit and The Chamber wants to ensure that your business dreams can become reality in our community. Through connections to the local entrepreneurial ecosystem and funding, The Chamber can provide the support you need to take your idea and make it a viable business.

Metropolitan E-Community – Revolving Loan Fund

NetWork Kansas Entrepreneurship (E-) Communities create a revolving loan fund that is reviewed at the local level. The loans are intended as gap financing to help entrepreneurs start or grow a business in a specific community. The loan program matches public sources of capital and bank loans, and can provide up to $45,000 per project. Funds are flexible and can be used for a variety of business purposes, including startup costs, purchasing an existing business, business expansion, working capital, inventory, and more.

The NetWork Kansas Entrepreneurship Community (E-Community) program is geared towards identifying and developing resources to assist local entrepreneurs in starting or growing a business. The goals of the E-Community partnership are to:

  • Grow a flourishing, sustainable entrepreneurial environment supportive of business startups and expansions;
  • Engage and/or develop entrepreneurial resources to meet identified community and business needs;
  • Create a revolving loan fund to provide matching loans to entrepreneurs and small businesses with local control of decisions and terms.

Programs included in the E-Communities include:

  • Destination Bootcamp
  • Youth Entrepreneur Challenge Series
  • Kansas Ice House Entrepreneur Program
  • Economic Gardening

Learn more about these programs by clicking here. 

If you live in Douglas County outside of Lawrence, there’s an e-community for you, too! Reach out to Jill deVries Jolicoeur via email or by calling (785) 330-2890. You can learn more about the Douglas County E-Community here.

MECP Businesses

Learn about local companies who have utilized MECP funding:

Need more info or interested in applying? Email Ryan Rains or give us a call at (785) 865-4411.

Download the application:

Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge

E-Communities have the opportunity to host local-level entrepreneurship competitions and submit their event to be part of the “Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge series” culminating in the Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge (KEC) State Championship. The YEC series gives Kansas students hands-on experience thinking entrepreneurially.

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