Create Campaign celebrates Founders' Grove's 1-Year Anniversary

November 13, 2020

Create Campaign, Inc. marks Founders' Grove's One-Year Anniversary by providing a 2020 organizational impact report to the community. 

Hispanic Heritage Business Forum Coverage

October 03, 2020

Univision previewed the Hispanic Heritage Business Forum that was held Saturday, October 3, 2020 via Zoom and Facebook Live. Create Campaign, Inc. partnered with Claudia Amaro of AB&C Bilingual Resources, LLC on the virtual forum, which included presentations from keynote speaker Alejo Cabral, of the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce; Audé Negrete Baños, Director of the Topeka-based Kansas Hispanic and Latino American Affairs Commission; Frank Choriego of the WSU-Kansas Small Business Development Center; Myra de la Torre, of Complete Exteriors, LLC and Falcon Insurance and Martha Loya, who owns a childcare center.

The Forum was free for participants. 

Details about business grants emerge

August 12, 2020

Details about two business grant opportunities were released today as Kansas business owners continue to deal with COVID-related revenue losses.


Statewide program: The Kansas Department of Commerce (KDOC) provided additional insight regarding the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) funding, which is made possible by Federal CARES Act dollars. A portal at will open on Thursday, August 13 at 4 p.m. for people to view applications and additional details about SPARK grants. Applications will begin being accepted on Wednesday, August 19 at Noon, according to information provided by KDOC on the informational webinar.

KDOC is providing a five-day time frame for potential applicants to review the applications to familiarize themselves with the application criteria and funding details.

There are multiple categories of applications that will be available.

Economic Development-related application categories include:

  • Small Business Working Capital

  • Securing Local Food Systems

  • PPE Procurement

  • PPE Manufacturing

  • COVID-19 Bioscience Product Development

  • Kansas Tech College Advanced Manufacturing

  • Domestic Supply Chain Fortification

  • IT/Cybersecurity Project Management

Connectivity (Broadband)-related application categories include:

  • Connectivity Emergency Response Grant (Physical Assets)

  • Broadband Partnership Adoption Grant (Low Income Assistance)


Eligibility to apply varies by categories and was discussed on the webinar. Examples of eligibility mentioned for the Small Business Working Capital Grants, for example include:

  • For-profit or not-for-profit business owned and/or operated in the state of Kansas

  • Must have 500 or fewer employees

  • Must have been in operation since July 1, 2019

  • Must be in good standing with the Kansas Secretary of State

  • Must be able to demonstrate a loss of at least 25 percent of gross revenues from January 1, 2020-June 30, 2020 as compared to July 1, 2019-December 31, 2019.

  • Businesses must plan to use all awarded funds exclusively for working capital expenses and be able to articulate how the funds will be used, per information presented in the webinar.


More than 600 participated in the webinar, which was broadcast at 11 a.m. CST.

KDOC officials said they plan to make the webinar recording, FAQs and additional information available and encourage business owners, service providers and other institutions to help spread the word about SPARK to help keep as many Kansans informed on the process as possible.

For more information about SPARK, including past presentations and background materials, please click here.

Sedgwick County - Sedgwick County commissioners approved a plan Wednesday to make safe-operating grants of up to $5,000 available to small businesses beginning next week, the Wichita Business Journal reports. The grant portal will open on Monday, August 17 at

Create Campaign receives Helping Hand award from DeVaughn James

July 16, 2020

As reported by KWCH Channel 12

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Create Campaign is a Wichita nonprofit that helps minority-owned businesses launch and expand. The organization has already helped hundreds of African American and Hispanic Latino entrepreneurs persist in their businesses.

Christina Long, President and CEO of Create Campaign, said she created the nonprofit specifically to help minority businesses succeed through networking events, workshops, mentor matching, and the availability of a microloan fund.

“Having a place where people can come, they feel comfortable, they see people that look like them, they’ve been through their experience, but also, who understand what it takes to be able to take our experience and be able to access mainstream resources so that we can be a full entrepreneurship community. That is what we’re about,” said Long.

In recognition of the Create Campaign’s efforts, Eyewitness News and DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers lend a $1,200 Helping Hand.

COVID-19 Relief Programs

April 15, 2020

COVID-19 has changed the landscape for how business — and life— is being conducted. In these harsh economic times, several efforts have been established to assist businesses. With so much information to sort through, we dug in to help Create Campaigners understand how to participate in these relief efforts if it makes sense for your companies. COVID-19 has changed the landscape for how businesses — and life— is being conducted. In these harsh economic times, several efforts have been established to assist businesses. With so much information to sort through, we dug in to help Create Campaigners understand how to participate in these relief efforts if it makes sense for your companies.

Iesha Henderson joins Create Campaign, Inc.

February 07, 2020

In its first hire as an organization, Create Campaign welcomes Iesha Henderson to our staff. Henderson joins Create Campaign as the Administrative Support Specialist. In this role, Henderson is responsible for organizational branding, graphic design, client support and event support services. 

Henderson, a Wichita native and Derby resident, is a graduate of Wichita State University, earning a BA in graphic design. 

"One of things I hope to accomplish while working for Create Campaign is to gain as much knowledge as I can being in the professional field of graphic design," Henderson says. "I not only want to expand myself, but to also help Create campaign grow and help others further their businesses and help them as much as I can creatively. I hope in the future be able to train others on how to further expand their business." 

Create Campaign announces 2020 board of directors

January 01, 2020

Create Campaign, Inc., which helps urban entrepreneurs to launch, innovate and grow, is pleased to announce its 2020 board of directors.

Treasurer: Jolanda Hamilton, Skyward Bound Solutions

Secretary: Jana E. Henderson, Wichita State University, serving in her personal capacity

Director:  Joshua Enlow, ProTech

Director: Shekima Smith, E&Y, serving in her personal capacity

Director: Gary Oborny, Occidental Management

They join the following Advisory board members:

Dave Seiler, Koch

Shawn Bauman, Accountant, in his personal capacity

Aaron Bastian, Fidelity Bank

Dell Gines, economic developer, in his personal capacity

Angie Franklin, Great Plains credit union

Darrius Wright, Kansas Business Services, LLC

Serving as President/CEO, Christina M. Long, CML Collective, LLC

Thanks to all for your service.

With Founders' Grove launch, nonprofits push for more equity in Wichita entrepreneur

November 27, 2019

By Shelby Reynolds  – Reporter, Wichita Business Journal

Christina Long has a vision for entrepreneurship in Wichita.

That minority-owned small businesses have better access to capital and resources.

That young African American and Latino children learn at an early age that there are career paths in STEM and entrepreneurship.

That every contractor — no matter the color of their skin — has the same access to the projects that are moving Wichita forward.

"I want to create a campus, a true campus and hub where this is a signature place for people to come and feel empowered as diverse entrepreneurs," said Long, founder of urban entrepreneur advocacy organization Create Campaign Inc.

That hub launched earlier this month.

Founders' Grove opens its doors focused on economic development

November 13, 2019

By KSN News

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Founders Grove, an area designed to empower urban entrepreneurs, held it’s grand opening today in northeast Wichita.

Nearly all the work done to prepare the building was done by minority owned companies.

Read more via KSN.

New urban entrepreneur hub to open in northeast Wichita

November 13, 2019

by: Jasmine Haynes

Posted: Nov 13, 2019 / 12:14 AM CST / Updated: Nov 13, 2019 / 06:27 AM CST

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Christina Long shows off the lobby area inside Founders Grove a newly formed entrepreneurial hub.

“Founders Grove exists to empower urban entrepreneurs in the cities urban core,” said Christina Long, President & CEO of Create Campaign, Inc. “What we’re wanting to do is really create a space where people can come and learn how to be entrepreneurs. How to start and grow their business.”

In three-and-a-half months, thanks to sponsors and funds from the City of Wichita’s District 1 Hyatt Fund, the donated Commerce Bank building has been transformed into small and large conference rooms and office spaces.

“This is a space where people can go not only to talk about their dreams but to make their dreams happen,” said Long.

Read and view story via KSN.

New Shared Office Space Aimed At Minority Entrepreneurs, Businesses Opens In Wichita

November 12, 2019


Founders’ Grove, a new shared office space, opened Wednesday.

Create Campaign is the nonprofit organization that will maintain the office spaces. It says its mission is to serve as a hub for African-American and Latino entrepreneurship growth and business development.

The organization began in 2015 as a partnership with the Entrepreneurship Task Force and has grown into a standalone organization that operates in Wichita and Kansas City.

Read more via KMUW.

Founders’ Grove Will Foster Minority Biz Synergy

November 08, 2019

By Glen Sharp, The Community Voice

Founders’ Grove has nearly completed its transformation into an entrepreneurship hub at the corner of 21st Street and Grove, with just a bit more work to do ahead of its grand opening ceremony at 10 a.m. Wed., Nov. 13.

It’s been a year since Commerce Bank announced it would close its longtime northeast Wichita branch and turn over the 2,300-square-foot building to several non-profit community groups: Create Campaign Inc., which boosts urban entrepreneurs; the Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce; and Camp Destination Innovation Inc., a career-development program for teens (Marquetta Atkins, founder). Those groups have been joined by the mentorship program Real Men Real Heroes (Kyle Ellison, executive director).

Just as important, Founders Grove will offer affordable work and meeting space to local entrepreneurs with slim budgets.

Read more via The Community Voice

Founders' Grove opening

October 30, 2019

Create Campaign, Inc. releases the save the date for the grand opening of Founders' Grove. 


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

10 a.m.

Founders' Grove, 2333 E. 21st Street N.

Free and open to the public; come-and-go following remarks

Create Campaign awarded $75,000 for supplier diversity initiative

September 03, 2019

Create Campaign, Inc. is one of 13 organizations to receive the first awards from the Evergy Community Investment Fund, according to the Wichita Community Foundation. 

The Evergy Community Investment Fund at WCF is granting $376,100 total to 13 Wichita nonprofits serving zip codes 67208, 67214 and 67219. The funded projects will support either community and environment enhancement or youth enrichment and development.

“These initiatives will impact Northeast Wichita for years to come,” said WCF President and CEO Shelly Prichard. “Community and environment enhancement paired with youth development are key drivers for the city’s growth.”

Read the entire Wichita Community Foundation announcement here

In Focus: Christina Long

March 11, 2019

"Entrepreneurship is difficult no matter who you are," Long says.

The difficulty is compounded by the historical context of race. From slavery to Jim Crow, African-Americans and other minorities have had a tougher time in America building a strong enough economic base to create new businesses and wealth.

"We know in this country, to be able to have a home, to be able to build equity, and to leave that to the next generation, that matters in terms of creating and developing an economic base," Long says. "There's all these different factors and barriers that create the context as to why our rates in business ownership look differently than others."

The Wichita Eagle: Commerce Bank closing 21st and Grove branch, donating building to Wichita nonprofits

November 14, 2018

“Our goal is not just to be able to talk about how exciting entrepreneurship is in Wichita, but to make it more accessible to people,” Long said. “This building will be an accessible point of entry and a place where people will be able to find resources.”

Commerce Bank Announces Changes to Northeast Branch: Community service organizations to call branch home in 2019

November 13, 2018

Commerce Bank Announces Changes to Northeast Branch

Community service organizations to call branch home in 2019


Wichita, Kan. (November 13, 2018) – Commerce Bank announced today that its Northeast branch located at 21st Street and Grove (2333 E. 21st Street N) will become the new home of three community service organizations in January 2019. The three organizations that will be operating in the former bank building are:

• Create Campaign, Inc. – Began as an event in 2015 in partnership with the Entrepreneurship Task Force and has now grown to a standalone organization in Wichita and Kansas City, Kansas.

• Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce – Focuses on the growth and development of African American-owned businesses.

• Camp Destination Innovation, Inc. – Teaches entrepreneurial and life skills to students ages 14- 18 years old.


“It’s never an easy decision to close a branch,” said Monte Cook, CEO and president of Commerce Bank in Wichita. “However, we believe the organizations moving into the space will make a lasting impact on our community by providing training and mentoring services to current and future business leaders.”

“It’s never an easy decision to close a branch,” said Monte Cook, CEO and president of Commerce Bank in Wichita. “However, we believe the organizations moving into the space will make a lasting impact on our community by providing training and mentoring services to current and future business leaders.”


Commerce Bank opened the Northeast branch in 1997 with a three-lane drive-thru and ATM. The fullservice ATM will remain in place but will be relocated to the drive-thru area to ensure customer accessibility. “Making this announcement during Global Entrepreneurship Week (Nov. 12-16) allows us to celebrate the opportunities that are right here in Wichita and help more people reach their potential,” said Christina Long, founder of Create Campaign, Inc. and future owner of the building. “Our goal is to provide a centralized place for young people, entrepreneurs and established business leaders to come together to make Wichita a great place to develop and grow business. We call it Founders’ Grove.”

Founders’ Grove is a partnership between Create Campaign, Inc., Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce and Camp Destination Innovation, Inc. that offers a comprehensive stepping stone approach to development and progression in their respective areas. Camp Destination Innovation, Inc. mentors youth interested in business, science and technology. Create Campaign, Inc., helps entrepreneurs navigate through start-up plans and logistics. Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce is a good source to help provide real-world business mentors to youth and entrepreneurs. Altogether, the organizations currently serve approximately 400 people in the Wichita community. “At the Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce, we are committed to grooming leaders by providing guidance, training and sustaining companies so they can succeed,” said Greg Cole, president of the Wichita Chapter of the Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce. “Our partnership with Create Campaign and Camp Destination Innovation will provide our chamber membership with opportunities to learn new technologies and collaborate with new generations of the workforce.” Camp Destination Innovation exposes youth to careers outside of traditional norms with an emphasis on STEAM and entrepreneurship.


“Our youth are the best investment we can make and yields the best returns,” said Marquetta Atkins, founder of Camp Destination Innovation, Inc. “They are our future, and we need to show them that their dreams and aspirations can be achieved right here in Wichita, and that’s what we can do now with the partnership between our three organizations.”

Commerce Bank executives collaborated with City Councilman Brandon Johnson on the vision for the building.

“These are three amazing organizations that are focusing on the tough work of growing and supporting entrepreneurs and small business in our City. In their own right, they are making a real impact, but being together under one roof to become a one-stop shop to make an individual’s American dream become reality is life changing,” said Johnson. “Great things happen when corporations, cities and service organizations come together to serve the community, and we’re excited to see how this partnership will help develop our citizens.”


The final day for Commerce Bank to occupy the building is Friday, December 28, 2018. Commerce Bank’s employees at the Northeast branch will be reassigned to other locations in Wichita. About Commerce Bank Commerce Bank, is a subsidiary of Commerce Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBSH), a $25.1 billion regional bank holding company, as of September 30, 2018. For more than 150 years, Commerce has been meeting the financial services needs of individuals and businesses. Commerce provides a full range of financial products to consumer and commercial customers, including personal banking, lending, mortgage banking, wealth management, brokerage and capital markets services. Commerce operates in approximately 330 locations in the central United States and has a nationwide presence in the commercial payments industry.


For additional information, please visit

Create Campaign welcomes Dell Gines

August 09, 2018

Create Campaign, Inc. is pleased to collaborate with the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce as we welcome Dell Gines of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City to Wichita to share important findings related to African-American women in entrepreneurship. 

Gines, who held a multi-city focus group effort that included Wichita, will share research at his event, "How to Support Wichita's Black Women-Owned Businesses." The event is scheduled for Thursday, August 16 from Noon to 2 p.m. at the Atwater Neighborhood Resource Center, 2755 E. 19th St. N. Lunch will be provided. The event is free and open to the public but registration is required to attend.

Highlights will be shared from the new national report, Black Women Business Startups.

Raquel Ramirez could be among the first to receive a low-interest loan from a new fund aimed at helping local small businesses grow. The Create Capital Fund, launched with a $25,000 grant from Fidelity Bank's new Bravely Onward Fund at the Wichita Community Foundation, aims to provide loans of between $2,500 and $25,000 specifically to minority owned businesses.

"It means a lot," she said of the Create fund. "There's so much I could do that I can't do without it."


April 03, 2018

On the heels of a combined $1 million gift to Wichita State University’s Shock the World campaign in February of this year, Fidelity Bank announced an additional $1 million in community investment, with gifts aimed at accelerating entrepreneurial activity and community betterment.

Half of the additional investment has gone to establish a $500,000 Bravely Onward Fund at the Wichita Community Foundation, which provides grant funding to non-profits with programs serving current or aspiring entrepreneurs. The first Bravely Onward Fund contribution is a $25,000 grant for the Create Campaign’s newly formed Create Capital Fund, and includes the opportunity for an additional $100,000 in matching funds.

“Reclaiming Wichita’s entrepreneurial heritage is important to ensuring long-term prosperity, not just in the business sector, but for all Wichitans,” said Aaron Bastian, president of Fidelity Bank. “The journey from idea to successful business is full of challenges and our intent is to invest in resources for entrepreneurs with the courage to chart their own course.”

The Create Capital Fund was established to foster a more equitable funding landscape by offering qualified minority-owned businesses $2,500 to $25,000 loans to fund purchases of equipment, inventory and supplies. This type of financing helps business owners from socially-disadvantaged groups build financially stable enterprises which support themselves, their employees and the overall community.

“The Bravely Onward Fund’s bold alliance with the Create Campaign paves the way for innovative solutions to systemic challenges facing minority entrepreneurs,” said Christina Long, president and CEO of Create Campaign, Inc. “Together, we will empower people in our community who are ripe for resources to solidify their entrepreneurial development.”

Fidelity Bank has also provided an additional $500,000 in funding to the Fidelity Bank Foundationto dramatically increase the funds available to support arts, education, human services and community betterment non-profit organizations. Originally founded in 1961 as the Bastian Foundation, the Fidelity Bank Foundation has a long history of community support in the Wichita community.

“There is so much good in our community—organizations and initiatives creating hope for those in need and lifting our community spirit,” said Clay Bastian, president of the Fidelity Bank Foundation. “Our desire is to always do more, and that is what we will do. We hope that inspires others.”

Get more information about the Create Capital Fund.

Apply for grant funding from the Fidelity Bank Foundation or Bravely Onward Fund.

Source: Fidelity Bank

Entrepreneurship happens everywhere—not just on the coasts. It happens in urban centers and rural communities, among tech innovators and in shops on Main Street. It happens from Seattle to San Juan, in Kansas and Iowa, and in Albuquerque, Kansas City and Loudoun County.

In fact, the Kauffman Foundation reports that more than 500,000 entrepreneurs start businesses every month, answering the call to improve lives, solve problems, drive innovation and pursue the American dream.

And we know that entrepreneurship is important.

Entrepreneurship has the power to improve lives and expand prosperity. Entrepreneurship creates jobs. New businesses account for nearly all net new job creation and almost 20 percent of gross job creation. And if we truly want to get to where we want to grow as a community and a country, we’ll need to tap the potential of all of our dreamers and innovators to solve pressing local, national and global problems.

And yet, we also know that we have work to do to level the playing field for underrepresented entrepreneurs—including women and people of color.

Q&A with Create Campaign Founder, Christina Long

The 2012 Survey of Business Owners shows the average African-American business in Kansas has sales seven times lower than the average white-owned business and employs just a third of the employees of their white counterparts. African-American businesses also are underrepresented relative to their population percentage in the state.

What Is the Create Campaign?

Where to start.

2016 was a year to remember for Wichita. Several initiatives launched. Several moments were celebrated. Several successes highlighted.

Like they say, there’s no such thing as an overnight success. The strides made in Wichita throughout 2016 didn’t just happen. They were a result of late nights at the office, early morning coffees and people gathering around conference room tables striving to make a difference in their hometown.

Most can recall the days when Wichita was a thriving business community with a swagger not seen elsewhere, but somewhere along the way, we lost it. We lost our sense of victory, or so we thought.

Congrats to CREATE CampaignE2E Accelerator, Inc. and Junior Achievement of Kansas, who were awarded $1,500 each to work on increasing venture capital and driving job creation innovation through the #ThrowbackThirty Round Three: Entrepreneurial grant competition. Create Campaign will use the grant to add another programmatic element to their program. E2E's grant contributes to the valuation program and assessment and Junior Achievement will expand their program to three additional classrooms.

For more information on the quarterly contest, visit our #ThrowbackThirty page.

While attending Wichita State University in the early 1980s, Debra Lynn Washington and her tired fingers had an epiphany.

“I was typing papers for the entire football team back in 1982,” Washington said. “Eventually, I thought ‘Hey, if I’m going to do this, I might as well get paid for it.’ ”

Not long after, what is now known as Deb’s Creative Services was born. Washington has run the graphic design and professional document company out of her home as a second job for more than three decades, long outlasting the WSU football program in the process.

Washington is one of about 30 African-American entrepreneurs – or those interested in becoming entrepreneurs – planning to attend an event on Saturday called “Create Campaign,” an initiative of the Entrepreneurship Task Force, which was born of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Council.

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FG One-Year Anniversary Save the

Create Campaign's 2020 Impact Report

November 13, 2020

Create Campaign, Inc. marks Founders' Grove's One-Year Anniversary by providing a 2020 organizational impact report to the community.