Encouraging and Supporting Rural Entrepreneurs

Rural Iowa is awash in small business owners and entrepreneurs.  Thousands of family farmers provide a fertile base of savvy business operators.

But the process of taking a business idea from concept to reality is a difficult one – especially if the would-be business owner has no support.

In Iowa, there is plenty of support – if you know where to look!

Resources and Partners

There are many resource providers when it comes to rural entrepreneurship:  There are the Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), the numerous John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers, Farm Bureau’s ‘Renew Rural Iowa’ program and more.  There are federal agencies like the US Small Business Administration (SBA) and the US Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development agency (RD), state agencies including Iowa Economic Development Authority and SourceLink (which it manages)  the Iowa Farm Bureau’s “Renew Rural Iowa” program, plus efforts by associations, developers and non-profits and more.

Yet, often a first step for communities seeking to build a supportive environment for entrepreneurs is a search for information — both about themselves and the resources they can contact.  A local asset might be an economic developer or Chamber director.  Statewide and nationally, other organizations exist to provide support.

Case Studies and News Items

Sometimes the best solutions are just down the road.  Many rural Iowa communities are implementing innovative solutions to address their housing needs.  Those case studies and best practices can be a roadmap for other communities – if they know where to look!

Iowa and ISU Named Top Entrepreneurship Schools 

Lamberti Center for Rural Entrepreneurship at BVU

Energizing Entrepreneurs Zoominar Materials- Feb 5, 2021

Full Slide Deck Don Macke Steve Radley 20NWKS0499_2020AnnualReport_Digital_5_rh_FINAL (2) (1) LIST_ECOMMS_JUNE2020 chatbox notes Zoom recording available to viewers: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/DJpO7bttxkdmYIvqSkd2f10ZJAsb17S8az3OTijWJUKtQsF9g1wtKXQYyKuU49dc.fM12Uf86_ofQ9lJg  passcode: @4VWDW40 Likely Dev Opps FINAL (1) 1-Ord Nebraska An Entrepreneurial Community Final e2 Resources  

IRDC Launches New Website

The Iowa Rural Development Council is pleased to unveil its new website,  which was created by the talented team at Big Imprint, a West Liberty-based websites and marketing firm. “We are thrilled to have Ethan Anderson and the Big Imprint designers on our team,” said IRDC Chair Sandy Ehrig.  “We... Read More →

Rural Leaders to Focus on Development Next Week

GRINNELL, IOWA – Leaders from more than 75 Iowa rural communities will gather in Grinnell next week to seek solutions to issues confronting them and share ideas and successes. The third Iowa Rural Development Summit will be held in Grinnell April 10-12, bringing together elected officials, business leaders and community... Read More →