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Program Provides Funds for Agricultural Entrepreneurship

The Kansas Department of Agriculture has partnered with the Kansas Department of Commerce to award funds to Kansas entrepreneurs to encourage innovation and entrepreneurial spirit within the agriculture industry. These funds are made available by the JumpStart Kansas Entrepreneur program.

“A strong agriculture industry is the foundation of the Kansas economy,” said Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey. “We are committed to economic growth, and this program will expand opportunities for agricultural innovation across the state of Kansas.”

A total of $100,000 is available to disperse in $10,000 increments among selected applicants. Money will be awarded to Kansas-based individuals and companies toward the goal of creating new businesses. Proposed ideas must fall under one of these categories: entrepreneurial concepts or ideas, proof of concept, company growth opportunities or start-ups (not limited to first stage). The product or service must be innovative, whether it be a new idea, device, method or application of a better solution.

Application reviews will begin March 22. Awards will be made until funds are exhausted. Awardees will be paid funds in early April and will be required to submit quarterly reports for one year following the award announcement or until their project or service application goals are satisfactorily met.

The goal of JumpStart Kansas Entrepreneur is to develop the entrepreneurial spirit in the state by encouraging new businesses. This program will allow individuals who do not have access to adequate funds to make their innovative ideas a reality. Kansas agriculture has developed specific desired outcomes for growth in the agricultural technology and entrepreneurship sector, with an objective to “foster a business environment that supports new and expanding enterprises.” This project directly addresses an outcome by providing start-up capital to agricultural entrepreneurs through the JumpStart Kansas Entrepreneur program.

For application details, go to the KDA website at agriculture.ks.gov/business-development. Questions should be directed to Kerry Wefald, agriculture marketing director, at 785-564-6758 or Kerry.Wefald@ks.gov.