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IGNITE Rural Business Competition Ignites Entrepreneurial Spirit in Barton County, Kansas


By Great Bend Economic Development


GREAT BEND, Kan. — The IGNITE Rural Business Competition, organized by Great Bend Economic Development, continues to ignite the entrepreneurial spirit in Barton County, providing a platform for local businesses to thrive and innovate. Designed to empower emerging ventures, IGNITE has been a catalyst for transformation, exemplified by the recent success of 10-39 Cafe in Ellinwood.

Through the competition, 10-39 Cafe’s owners honed their business plan, received mentorship, and navigated through rounds of eliminations to reach the live finals of the 2023 event. Their hard work paid off as they clinched 2nd place, earning a $30,000 grant, and secured the People’s Choice award, adding an extra $5,000 to their prize money.

“We are thrilled to witness the entrepreneurial spirit flourishing in Barton County through the IGNITE Rural Business Competition,” said Lee Ann June, Communications Director at Great Bend Economic Development. “IGNITE not only celebrates success but also fosters a culture of innovation and collaboration that drives economic growth and community development.”

To celebrate this success, IGNITE the Night with 10-39 Cafe will take place on May 17th between 5-8pm at 10-39 Cafe, 104 W 1st in Ellinwood. This event celebrates 10-39 Cafe’s journey to success, and the community is invited to join the celebration.

“The IGNITE competition was intense and valuable to pushing your business or idea to the next step. The mentors were fantastic, and the boards and presentations required/pushed you to excel. The live finale was a bundle of nerves but worth it to present your hard work to the community and judges,” said Brittney Bailey, 10-39 Cafe.

Attendees can expect an evening filled with camaraderie, celebration, and inspiration. Complimentary appetizers, door prizes, and drink tickets will be provided, offering a taste of the vibrant atmosphere at 10-39 Cafe. 10-39 Café will have already opened to the public, so the full menu is also available to purchase food that evening as well.

To learn more about IGNITE and to relive the excitement of the 2023 Grand Finale, visit

About GBED (Great Bend Economic Development):

Our goal is to sustain Barton County’s long-term economic health and vitality through the retention, expansion, and attraction of businesses and development that enhance property values, increase personal income, and positively contribute to the citizens’ quality of life of Barton County. Great Bend Economic Development leads the charge in creating workforce initiatives to sustain our current employers as well as initiatives that will help to support new employers that move to the community. Employers and jobseekers are encouraged to reach out to GBED with questions and concerns and GBED will either pair you up with a workforce partner to help you accomplish your goals, or work with you one-on-one to create solutions and positive outcomes. Together we will create a strong and sustainable workforce pipeline that will enable us to continue to grow Barton County. For more information about GBED visit:, call 620-796-2407, or email [email protected].


IGNITE Rural Business Competition is a dynamic platform aimed at empowering entrepreneurs in Barton County. The competition encourages creativity, innovation, and community engagement, offering valuable grants to deserving businesses to fuel their growth and success. For more information, visit