Iowa Small Business Resources

Money Smart for Small Business

Money Smart for Small Business (MSSB) provides an introduction to topics related to starting and managing a business. MSSB was developed jointly by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The materials are available for immediate download at Money Smart – Teach – For Small Business.

This instructor-led curriculum consists of 13 modules in English and Spanish that can be downloaded (catalog.fdic.gov) or ordered in CD format (catalog.fdic.gov).

MSSB training for aspiring and existing entrepreneurs are conducted by the members of the Money Smart Alliance. A list of members may be helpful to find available training and assistance near you, although the list does not include all of the organizations that use Money Smart.

MSSB is designed to be delivered to aspiring or existing small business owners by staff from financial institutions, small business development centers (SBDCs), women’s business centers, city/county economic development offices and others. The curriculum is a tool for bank-community partnerships. No certifications are required to use the curriculum. Ideally, MSSB instructors have experience in the delivery of training, technical assistance or coaching to small businesses.

Download the Top 10 Reasons to use MSSB flyer (catalog.fdic.gov).

Small Business Administration Resources

Created in 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) continues to help small business owners and entrepreneurs pursue the American dream. The SBA is the only cabinet-level federal agency fully dedicated to small businesses and provides counseling, capital, and contracting expertise as the nation’s only go-to resource and voice for small businesses.

Lender Match – Lender Match is a free online tool that connects small businesses with SBA-approved CDFIs and small lenders. Do not use if looking for Disaster loans.
Get Local Assistance – The SBA works with a number of local partners to counsel, mentor, and train small businesses.
Learning Center – The SBA offers a variety of online courses to help you start and run your business.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources – Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy.

Iowa Foundation for Microenterprise and Community Vitality

Iowa was built on the dreams of thousands of people owning their own business and being able to sustain a good life for their family. Owning your own business has become a reality for many people as they apply the skills they have learned to the passion they possess.

IowaMicroLoan offers Iowa Residents – Learn More!

  • Financing for start-up, expansion and refinancing of Microbusinesses in Iowa
  • Financing of loans of $5,000 up to $50,000 for a six year term
  • Co-financing with a local lender or loan pool up to $150,000
  • Credit approval within 10 working days of receiving a complete credit application and business plan
  • Technical Assistance grants up to $250 per client per year
  • Local team building assistance to help you succeed
  • The ability to improve your credit score through IowaMicroloan reporting
Iowa SCORE

SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, is dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals. Since 1964, we have provided education and mentorship to more than 11 million entrepreneurs.

SCORE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Thanks to this generous support from the SBA and because of the selfless contributions of our more than 10,000 dedicated volunteers, we are able to deliver most of our offerings at no cost.

SCORE’s Small Business Services
Iowa Economic Development Authority

The Iowa Economic Development Authority’s (IEDA) mission is to strengthen economic and community vitality by building partnerships and leveraging resources to make Iowa the choice for people and business. Through two main divisions – business development and community development – IEDA administers several state and federal programs to meet its goals of assisting individuals, communities and businesses.

Some of IEDA’s programs for businesses include:

Targeted Small Business Certification Program

The Targeted Small Business (TSB) program is designed to help women, individuals with minority status, service-connected disabled veterans and individuals with disabilities overcome some of the hurdles to start or grow a small business in Iowa.

IEDA also offers several financial assistance programs for innovation-based business: Demonstration Fund, Iowa Innovation Acceleration Fund and Proof of Commercial Relevance.

IASourceLink

IASourceLink is where business begins in Iowa. Our mission is to help small businesses in Iowa grow and succeed. We provide firms with free, easy access to the help they need – when they need it. IASourceLink connects Iowa entrepreneurs to a network of 360+ nonprofit resource organizations that provide business-building services. We facilitate the linking of these resource organizations to one another and to established, emerging and start-up small businesses.

In addition to our comprehensive network of resource providers that entrepreneurs can access 24/7 via the Resource Navigator, we also provide some direct services to Iowa small business owners. Our popular Business Concierge can provide your Iowa-based company with helpful referrals, and our monthly free online business webinars attract hundreds of Iowa entrepreneur participants. IASourceLink is also home to the Business License Information Center, which assists small businesses in identifying state licensing and registration requirements.

IASourceLink is brought to you by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) in collaboration with the University of Northern Iowa Center for Business Growth and Innovation.

Iowa Center for Economic Success

The Iowa Center is committed to empowering people to strengthen and stabilize their financial futures through business ownership and investment.

It is our belief that to be successful in small business, entrepreneurs need support in three core areas: education, capital, and networking. We have built key programs that support these core areas and empower individuals to succeed, families to prosper, and communities to thrive. Success to us is people supporting themselves and their families through the execution of their own ideas.

Education – Our educational series, workshops, and groups are designed to empower Iowans to own the drive to pursue entrepreneurship.
Capital – Our loans up to $50,000, combined with business support, can help hard-working Iowans launch an idea or take an existing business to the next level.
Networking – We facilitate building strong personal and social relationships while we increase the visibility of Iowa’s small business community.

Iowa Women’s Business Center

Overview of services include:

  • Flexible courses designed to help you start or build your small business
  • Special topic classes to help you learn more and do better
  • One-on-one business counseling
  • Help writing press releases and other business writing
  • Private credit counseling with certified credit counselors
  • Basic loan education and connections to a loan team
  • Connections to other Iowa business resources
Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC)

Our goal is to get you to the right resource(s) to help you achieve your goal. The Veterans Business Outreach (VBOC) program is a one-stop-shop for transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses looking to start, purchase, or grow a business.

Training is the most essential part of starting a business. We have subject matter experts that can assist you with understanding business plans, financials, marketing, sales, human resource management, and more.

We have pulled together a collection of free materials that are openly accessible around the Internet. Use the following training tabs to help direct your education efforts in lieu of spending hours searching the web for information.

Coaching & Consulting

Our expert consultants help you make decisions based on what is best for you AND your business. We are both entrepreneurs and veterans. Be a part of a community that understands where you have been and where you want to go. https://vetbiz.com/vboc-program/#1563833546741-1825cf13-2620

Education & Training

We believe training is the most essential part of starting a business. We have subject matter experts that can assist you with understanding business plans, financials, marketing, sales, human resource management, and other essential topics. https://vetbiz.com/vboc-program/#1527200816683-89558653-f704 

Learning Center

The Small Business Administration (SBA) and the VBRC present FREE webinars. These are short 20 to 30-minute videos to help introduce and refine small business concerns. https://vetbiz.com/vboc-program/#1527200816683-89558653-f704

Bunker Labs

Bunker Labs – a 501(c)(3) non-profit – is a national network of veteran and milspouse entrepreneurs dedicated to helping the military-connected community start their own business. We are committed to seeing that every entrepreneur in the military-connected community has the network, tools, and resources they need to start their own business. 25% of transitioning service members want to start a business and they need places inside their community where they can connect with the people, resources, and support they need to start and grow their businesses. We’re here for them!

Launch Lab Online

Do you have an idea for a business and don’t know where to start? Launch Lab Online provides an online framework that helps guide your idea to its first invoice.

Veterans in Residence 

Growing a business can be hard, Veterans in Residence is a highly-selective, peer-facilitated, six-month business incubator that provides military-connected entrepreneurs the community, business skills, and workspace to help launch and grow their business. Currently offered virtually and in-person pending local guidance.

CEO Circle

Scaling a business can be challenging, CEO circle is a monthly mastermind group of pre-selected, post revenue growth stage companies led by military-connected entrepreneurs in a confidential peer-facilitated forum.