What is Shawnee Startups?

Shawnee StartUps is an approved NetWork Kansas E-Community that allows a town, a cluster of towns, or an entire county to raise seed money for local entrepreneurs through donations from individuals or businesses within the community.

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Shawnee Startups E-Community is in place to provide gap financing to help entrepreneurs start or grow a business in Shawnee County. The loan program matches up to 60% of other public sources of capital and/or funds from a financial institution such as a bank. Up to $75,000 can be provided per project. Funds are flexible and can be used for a variety of business purposes, including equipment, inventory, and working capital.

Goals of the E-Community Partnership

  • Grow a flourishing, sustainable entrepreneurial environment supportive of business startups and expansions

  • Engage and develop entrepreneurial resources to meet identified community and business needs

  • Utilize the Shawnee County E-Community loan fund to partner with local lending providers to assist entrepreneurs in starting and growing a business

Loan Size

Up to $75,000 in match funding with public capital partnership

Appropriate Uses
  • Purchase of business equipment
  • Purchase of business inventory
  • Working capital
  • Improvements to owned real estate
  • Real estate, when partnered with commercial lender
Tax Credits
  • Donors receive Kansas Entrepreneurship Tax Credits that are a 75% tax credit for their donation.
  • The credit is dollar-for-dollar against their Kansas income tax liability.


  • $200 Application Fee - non-recurring
  • $500 closing cost for loan of $20,000 or less
  • $750 closing cost for loan over $20,000


Who Can Receive the Loan?

Anyone wishing to start, purchase or expand a for-profit business in the rural, incorporated areas of Shawnee County or in the economically “distressed” areas of Topeka. For more information see Loan Guidelines below.

For the map of “Distressed” areas click on the “Find Out” link below and enter the address in top right corner to the right of the mailbox icon.

Does Your Location Qualify?

Lenders & Resources


About Shawnee Startups

MISSION: Shawnee Startups is in place to encourage and support the entrepreneurs of Shawnee County

The E-Community Partnership has grown from six communities in 2007 to sixty through 2017. More than $15.4 million has been loaned to over 480 businesses leveraging an additional $75 million of additional capital (bank loans, owner down payment, resource partner loans, etc.).

Donors receive a 75% Kansas state income tax credit for their donation. A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar credit against income tax liability. For every $1,000 donated, donors will receive a $750 state income tax credit. Donors may also be eligible for a federal deduction if they are able to itemize on their tax return. The minimum donation amount per year is $250 and the maximum is $66,667 (yielding between a $187.50 and $50,000 tax credit respectively.


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