Kansas Main Street Selected for Rural Main Streets Entrepreneurial Program

TOPEKA – Main Street America has announced that Kansas is one of 10 states selected to participate in the Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Rural Main Streets Program, supported by the Kauffman Foundation. The program aims to spur economic development in rural Kansas not just by fostering entrepreneurship but by building out entire ecosystems.

Kansas Main Street has partnered with Main Street America (MSA) to put on a one-day statewide workshop on Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem building that will be open to any rural community to attend. The workshop is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 7, in Great Bend.

“The partnership between Kansas Main Street and Main Street America is strong and this program is a great example of the benefits of that connection,” Kansas Main Street Director Scott Sewell said. “We are excited that MSA has partnered with the Kauffman Foundation to help communities better understand how to maximize entrepreneurial development and growth in rural Kansas.”

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In addition, there will be an opportunity for in-community and virtual programming support for three selected communities to implement ecosystem building, along with a “train-the-trainer” process for the Kansas Main Street Program to expand the ecosystem-building approach to other Main Street programs within Kansas. Participation in the workshop is mandatory if a community wishes to receive the additional support.

“Holistic, place-based, equitable entrepreneurial ecosystems offer a promising path forward for these communities as a core economic development strategy,” Main Street America Chief Program Officer Matt Wagner said. “There is a need to deliver these services to rural communities, and Main Street America is uniquely positioned to address that need in partnership with its state and regional coordinating programs.”

To register for the workshop, click here.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttp://www.sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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