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IGNITE Rural Business Competition ignites county’s entrepreneurial spirit

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 5-8 p.m. 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