Entrepreneurship & Small Business Development

The two county region that makes up the area served by Midwest Partnership – Adair and Guthrie counties in Iowa – are rich in manufacturing and agriculture-based entrepreneurship efforts and have been for decades. Today, Midwest Partnership continues to pursue and support entrepreneurs to start-up and expand in the region through partnerships with University of Northern Iowa Business & Community Services and the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration as well as cities, counties and community developers in the region. We connect entrepreneurs to the right resources and programs to create the best opportunity for success.

The Regional Entrepreneurship Project is a five year plan facilitated by the Business & Community Services of the University of Northern Iowa. Midwest Partnership’s four county region was selected as Region I of the project. Tailored to the unique demographics, economic trends, service providers, and entrepreneurship needs within the region, a Strategic Plan for Entrepreneurship was created over the course of three planning sessions in Spring 2014. Planning team members consisted of a wide variety of stakeholders including entrepreneurs, economic development/chambers of commerce leadership, financial institution, small business development centers/entrepreneurship centers, community colleges, elected officials and the regional council of government. 

Iowa Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) provide free, confidential, customized, professional business advice in all 99 Iowa counties to entrepreneurs and existing businesses with 500 employees or less. We also present affordable workshops that teach practical skills and techniques, conduct research, provide comprehensive information services, and offer access to subject matter experts in a variety of fields. Regional Centers include Fort Dodge and Creston.

IASourceLink is the premier online resource connecting entrepreneurs and small businesses to more than 320 resource providers across Iowa. IASourceLink is brought to you by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) in collaboration with MyEntre.Net at the University of Northern Iowa.

SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. SCORE has been helping small business owners for over fifty years. Because their work is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and by a network of 11,000+ volunteers, they are able to deliver their services at no charge or at very low cost.

The Iowa Farm Bureau has an innovative program to enhance and improve economic growth across the state. It’s called Renew Rural Iowa and is designed to help increase the enterprise value of a new and existing businesses in Iowa’s small towns through a program of business education, mentoring, and the financial resources to help businesses grow. By bringing together seasoned business experts and critical resources at each seminar, business owners can tap into an array of services – all at one time.