Economic Independence Day

“As we celebrate our nation’s independence, it’s important to remember another important freedom: Economic empowerment. The ability to pay your bills, take care of your children, and determine your own destiny are crucial to a successful, balanced society.

“True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

Yet many current and would-be business owners are crippled with debt and credit challenges. After the great recession, Iowans, particularly Iowans of color are still struggling to make ends meet. Here, 1% of the population controls 30% of the wealth, according to the Iowa Policy Project.  African Americans in Iowa are 234% more likely to live in poverty than their white counterparts (Pew Research Center). A large reason for this is the lack of minority owned businesses. The SBA, American Express, and Bloomberg news have confirmed that Iowa has the least number of black owned businesses in the nation.

As a black and minority-owned entrepreneur, I also faced several challenges in finding office space, funding, and winning state contracts. Every year, I watched talented women and professionals of color leave the state. That’s why we created the Iowa Black Business Coalition. The Iowa Black Business Coalition provides training, resources, and access to minority and nontraditional business owners statewide.

Join us for Economic Independence Day, July 14th 2015. Economic Independence Day will provide a wealth of financial education for entrepreneurs. We invite people of all races to learn about budgeting, credit repair, and how to get your business the financing it needs. This event is open to entrepreneurs, business owners, startups, and those who are interested in starting their own company.

To find out more about The Iowa Black Business Coalition, and our resources, visit

Ini Augustine, Iowa Black Business Coalition

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