“The best way to improve economic and community development in rural communities is to foster entrepreneurship. After conducting 32 town hall meetings and awarding more than $240,000 in loans and grants to small businesses across the state during the past 15 months, we have learned that the best way to achieve success is by empowering local leaders to engage rural entrepreneurs,” said NetWork Kansas Director, Steve Radley. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
The initiative was started in 2004 as a way to revitalize and encourage more economic development activities in the state. This latest effort will provide $1 million in tax credits to four towns or rural counties chosen to use as grants or loans for start-up businesses.
The Kansas program provides each donor to the program to a 75 cent income tax deduction for each dollar that they contribute to this program. Other states have taken similar approaches with angel investor networks in rural areas. I wish that more would follow.