IASourceLink Marks Beginning of Third Year

IASourceLink Marks Beginning of Third Year

As the world begins its seventh annual celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week, IASourceLink marks the beginning of its third year of serving as Iowa’s one-stop shop for connecting entrepreneurs and small businesses with the resources they need to grow in Iowa.  Global Entrepreneurship Week, an initiative founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in 2008, is the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and development and expand economic welfare.

During one week each November, Global Entrepreneurship Week inspires people all over the world through local, national and global activities designed to assist entrepreneurs in exploring their full potential and spur creativity.  Global Entrepreneurship Week is actively celebrated in 150 countries, with partner organizations planning 25,000 activities that directly engage millions of participants every year.

Global Entrepreneurship Week in Iowa is promoted by IASourceLink.com, a website that is provided by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) in partnership with the University of Northern Iowa’s (UNI) MyEntre.Net.  IASourceLink was created to ensure that Iowa’s small business and entrepreneurial community has access to information and guidance.  A compilation of almost 30 entrepreneurial and small business-related events taking place across the state as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week can be accessed at www.iasourcelink.com/gew.

“IASourceLink.com is an excellent resource that provides invaluable information,” said Debi Durham, director of the IEDA.   “Information that might involve hours or even days of research literally can be delivered free through a simple call, search or e-mail via this robust platform.”

IASourceLink.com operates on the U.S.SourceLink web platform, America’s largest resource network for entrepreneurs and small business developed by the Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurship.  Services on the site include:

  • Resource Navigator – an online, non-intrusive search engine that helps start-ups or small businesses identify technical and financial resources;
  • Business Concierge – customized assistance from a live operator with specific knowledge and expertise about the network of providers, marketing and demographic information and trends that can help a small business to stay competitive;
  • Statewide Events Calendar – a comprehensive listing of entrepreneur and small business networking, educational and training opportunities (includes Global Entrepreneurship Week events); and
  • Business Licensing Center – an area that helps small business identify business registrations and licensing requirements.

Since January 2014, IASourceLink has seen a two-fold increase in web traffic resulting in 32,000 users and almost 140,000 page views and 685 requests for permitting and licensing information fulfilled.  The online calendar averages approximately 50 entrepreneur-related events and 16 expert blogs feature a multitude of topics.  The free business webinars have also seen a tremendous positive response – averaging over 80 online attendees every session.

In addition, according to Paul Kinghorn, director of UNI’s Regional Business Center, “In the past year, the online Business Concierge completed 854 personal requests from Iowa entrepreneurs ranging from complex market research to a variety of issues affecting startup development.  Moreover, during the same period, data retrieved from the Resource Navigator feature reflects that 840 online searches were conducted via the website.”

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