Skip To The Main Content

Need help? Call us!

Iowa Business Assistance − 866.537.6052
Iowa Business Licensing Help

Women and Minority Owner Resources

EntreFest 2009 ImageHere in Iowa we understand the importance of diversity of ownership of our Iowa companies.  We support women, minority, and disabled business owners with a number of highly specialized services and financing options to help ensure your success as operators in our state.  

Read on below to learn more about just a few of our programs available to help you with your startup or growth aspirations.

Ascent Iowa

Ascent Iowa LogoAscent is a not-for-profit organization driven by the private sector with the assistance of public and academia partnerships. Our mission is to inspire and support women in business ownership by helping them grow in a meaningful way, to create jobs, drive economies and strengthen communities. Currently, we are providing strategic resources and mentorship to women business owners and are conducting a statewide research-based outreach with the support of the Iowa Economic Development Authority beginning with our Stand Up and Be Counted movement.

Iowa Self-Employment Program (Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation)

Iowa Self-Employment (ISE) is a program designed for clients of Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS) or Iowa Department for the Blind (IDB), whose vocational goal is self-employment. This program is administered by IVRS and works in partnership with IDB. Following eligibility and self-employment assessment, a referral may be sent to ISE personnel.

Through Iowa Self-Employment (ISE), entrepreneurs may receive technical and/or financial assistance to start, expand or acquire a business. ISE offers orientations, business consultation, counseling services, and opportunities to collaborate with other professionals.  The vision of the ISE Program is to provide quality, expert, client-centered services to Iowans with disabilities that embrace diversity, promote successful business ownership and result in self-sufficiency and economic development.

Targeted Small Business Program

The Targeted Small Business (TSB) Certification Program certifies businesses owned, operated and actively managed by women, minority group members or persons with disabilities. Certified TSBs are eligible to apply for low-interest loans and equity grants through the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA). Also, state purchasing officers consider TSBs when seeking bids for state-purchased goods and services. 
Women Business Center (ISED Ventures)

ISED Ventures LogoDo you already own a business and need some help in deciding how to grow or sustain your business? Do you have an idea you think might be a good business but need some feedback as to how to proceed? Give the ISED Women's Business Center a call! We can help you determine what you need to accomplish before moving forward with your business idea. We can also recommend other resources as needed. 

Iowa is committed to helping disabled, women, and minority small business owners succeed. With a multitude of programs and services available, contact our Iowa Business Concierge to learn which resource might be your best fit for help in your growth or start up efforts.