Dream Big Grow Here surpasses 10,000 visitors in first four days of online voting

Dream Big Grow Here surpasses 10,000 visitors in first four days of online voting

In less than a week after going live with voting on one of its nine business contests, Dream Big Grow Here has already attracted over 10,000 folks from across the United States to go online and champion Iowa small business owners vying for a shot at a $5,000 business grant. Regional winners from this year’s contests will then go on for a chance to win a $10,000 grand prize at the annual EntreFest! business conference early next year.

With comments on the business dreams like, “What a wonderful place to visit and shop. We come in from Omaha and love shopping the small towns”, and “Katrina represents the young people we are trying to keep in our small towns”, the Dream Big Grow Here grant contest is more than a popularity contest for a business grant. It’s an economic development tool to bolster local Iowa economies, and celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship in our rural towns.

“Dream Big Grow Here has been a tremendously successful program for the University of Northern Iowa, and is but one important example of how we attract, engage, celebrate, and help grow Iowa small businesses,” said Rob Williams, Statewide Lead for Dream Big Grow Here. “We’ve been gaining lots of national traction with Dream Big Grow Here as well- including an expansion of the contest to Oklahoma, and are a finalist in the prestigious University Economic Development Association’s Awards of Excellence.”

While voting is live in the Southwest Iowa contest, all of the other contest regions are still accepting dream entries. Go to DreamBigGrowHere.com to find entry requirements to submit your business dream, or go online to support your local businesses with a vote or word of encouragement.

Lead sponsor for Dream Big Grow Here is the Iowa Bankers Association. Other key sponsors are a mix of private and public sector agencies, including the University of Northern Iowa MyEntre.Net, Iowa Farm Bureau / Renew Rural Iowa, Iowa Economic Development Authority, VentureNet, Delta Dental of Iowa, and the Technology Association of Iowa. Dream Big Grow Here is a program of UNI Business & Community Services.

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