CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — The University of Northern Iowa’s Business & Community Services (BCS) division will introduce a statewide Regional Entrepreneurship Project later this year. The program, funded through a $150,000 grant from the United States Economic Development Administration’s University Center program, will work with communities and regions across Iowa to establish a framework that fosters entrepreneurial development and small-business growth.
“The goal of this project is to refocus regional efforts to encourage the entrepreneurial development and provide them with the tools to make that happen,” said LaDene Bowen, associate director of UNI’s Institute for Decision Making and director of the Regional Entrepreneurship Project.
The project will explore factors including economic distress, recent layoffs and plant closures to initially select two regions within Iowa to establish a framework. One more region will be added annually for the duration of the five-year project. Within each region, BCS will implement a four-phase effort that includes an assessment of the region, educating regional stakeholders on best practices to cultivate an entrepreneurial support system, the development of a strategic plan, implementing the plan and continued support.