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NEXT STEPS: For Rural Entrepreneurship Development in Iowa Community Vitality Center. A Catalyst for Creating Real Impact in Real Communities. Community Vitality Center.

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next steps for rural entrepreneurship development in iowa community vitality center

NEXT STEPS: For Rural Entrepreneurship Development in IowaCommunity Vitality Center

A Catalyst for Creating Real Impact in Real Communities

community vitality center
Community Vitality Center
  • The mission of the Community Vitality Center (CVC) is to serve as a catalyst for innovative projects and initiatives designed to improve the vitality of non metro communities.
  • Community Entrepreneurship
  • Community Philanthropy
  • Community Vitality Policy Studies
entrepreneurship in the u s
Entrepreneurship in the U.S.
  • Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) estimates 10.5% of adult U.S. population is engaged in entrepreneurial activities
  • 36 % of U.S. Entrepreneurs are age 45-64
  • 1 female Entrepreneur for every 1.5 male entrepreneurs, with parity in 45-65 age bracket
entrepreneurial participation
Entrepreneurial Participation
  • GEM- Highest U.S. Entrepreneurial participation are those with high school diploma
  • Entrepreneurs without a high school diploma tend to focus more on self-employment
  • Those with college degrees tend to have alternative employment opportunities
micro entrepreneurs 5 or less employees
Micro Entrepreneurs – 5 or less employees
  • ISED - Aspen Institute – Low-Income Entrepreneurs reduced reliance on govt. assistance by 61 percent or $1,679 per year.
  • 72% of low income micro entrepreneurs experienced gains in household income over 5 years. Average gain was $8,485.
  • 53 % moved out of poverty
  • CFED- 49% of low-income micro entrepreneurs survived 5 years – comparable to national avg.
entrepreneurship in iowa cvc 10 community forums
Entrepreneurship in IowaCVC - 10 Community Forums
  • CVC- 50% of Participants were Entrepreneurs
    • 32% involved in a startup business
    • 19% thinking about starting a business.
  • Generated 20 Ideas for

Community Entrepreneurship Checklist


cvc 10 community forums
CVC - 10 Community Forums
  • 88% favored local partnerships and community initiatives to create entrepreneur development, business startups, & seed capital programs.
  • 67% favored linking local entrepreneurs to regional expertise, networks, regional development groups, and industry clusters for specific ventures.
  • 11% favored self-help entrepreneurship solely as a private sector initiative without public sector involvement.
cvc communities of distinction
CVC – Communities of Distinction
  • 8 nonmetro communities, 75 leaders: local gov’t, econ. develop., healthcare, & education
  • All identified at least one homegrown business started in an earlier decade but is now a major employer in the community.
  • None could identify local entrepreneurship programs in place beyond revolving loan funds.
  • All were very interested in what could be done locally on a cost-effective basis, underscoring Iowa’s potential.
getting started 1 organize a community entrepreneur development team
Getting Started: #1. Organize a Community Entrepreneur Development Team
  • Organize a broad-based CED Team
  • Entrepreneur support is different from other ED Strategies
  • More networks = more potential business prospects
  • Inclusiveness contributes to success as long as Executive Committee can manage process
who should be on the team



Business Start-up Services


Successful entrepreneurs

Existing companies interested in growth

Development Corps/Chambers


Angel Investors

Local Colleges

Local Extension

Regional SBDC

K-12 School Tech & Entrepreneur Teachers

Healthcare Entrepreneurs

Local Government

Potential Mentors

Local “spark plugs”

Community Benefactors

Ag Entrepreneurs

Faith-based groups

Who Should Be on The Team?
2 conduct local inventory of entrepreneur development assets
#2. Conduct Local Inventory of Entrepreneur Development Assets
  • Map local assets using CVC Checklist
  • Provide a one point of contact for entrepreneurs to access local information and networks
  • Create a resource notebook for contacts and referrals
  • Raise awareness of what is available and how to access local networks
other suggested tools
Other Suggested Tools
  • Develop a list of “gaps & niches” that would add to the local entrepreneurial support system.
  • Consider CVC’s Business Plan Competition Network or other Awards & E-ship Recognitions
  • Create entrepreneurial peer groups and mentoring networks so each entrepreneur doesn’t have to “re-invent the wheel”
    • Fairfield Entrepreneurs Association
    • Ag Ventures Alliance
  • Conduct workshops to assess strategies for filling the gaps and niches locally and/or by building linkages to external resources
  • Entrepreneurs say they learn 85% of what they know from other Entrepreneurs
community vitality center13
Community Vitality Center
  • Dr. Mark A. Edelman, Director
  • Phone: 515-294-3000
  • E-mail:
  • Website: