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ISED specializes in assisting microenterpreneurs – (individuals interested in starting a small business with five or fewer employees and/or need $50,000 or less in business financing). Numerous regulations, policies and procedures are involved in owning a small business that often are intimating, prohibitive and restrictive. While many resources are available, few take the time to assist you to identify the specific tools you need to meet your business goals.

ISED prides itself in performing individual personal and business readiness assessments to assist you to create a plan of action that helps move you toward your goals. We help you navigate through the channels of business ownership to put you on the right track to start, strengthen or expand a microenterprise.

Learn about ISED’s Iowa Women’s Enterprise Center (IWEC) or join the Alliance for Business Owners Network (ABO).

Personal and Business Readiness Workshops
Business Readiness Workshops are comprised of two intensive sessions designed to assist entrepreneurs to assess their personal readiness to enter into entrepreneurship. Participants examine their level of interest, energy, support, and passion for entrepreneurship. Participants perform a self-assessment, learn how to build their business ideas and explore business feasibility.
Personal and Business Readiness Seminars are typically offered three times per year. To sign up for these sessions, please contact the nearest ISED office.

Business Planning Workshops

Ready for the next step? The Business Planning Workshops are designed for entrepreneurs ready to dedicate the time, energy, and effort to learn the skills needed to become a successful entrepreneur and how to develop a business plan. These workshops are 10 weeks, three hours per session. Entrepreneurs gain knowledge from a broad variety of business professionals on how to develop a business plan, access business financing, prepare financial statements, learn about organizational structures, and how to access various loan programs, just to name a few.

Business Planning Workshops are typically held three times per year. To sign up for a Business Planning Workshop, please contact the nearest ISED office.

Technical Assistance & Consulting
One-on-one technical assistance is tailored to meet your specific needs. Counseling and technical assistance is available by seasoned and experienced business advisors. Areas of focus include: marketing and organizational structure and management; financial and business management, bookkeeping and recordkeeping to include information regarding taxes, government procurement, certification and access to business financing.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
SBA offers a variety of loan products, including guaranteed loans and other financial assistance. For more information, visit

State of Iowa Loan Funds
ISED assists eligible individuals to become certified as a targeted small business. This certification is the first step in positioning you to apply for business financing. If you are a woman, minority, or person with a disability, please visit

Iowa Microloan- Iowa Foundation for Microenterprise and Community Vitality-(IFMCV)
IFMCV is a nonprofit foundation designated by SBA as a statewide provider of the SBA Microloan program. ISED assists you to complete the IFMCV financial application for business financing. For specific requirements and guidelines, visit

Local Business Financing
There are various economic development programs available in communities across Iowa. To learn more about their loan programs, please contact your local economic development agency for additional information.

Commercial Lenders
ISED links you to traditional lenders such as banks and credit unions throughout Iowa to access business financing.

  Iowans for Social and Economic Development
1111 9th St, Suite 380
Des Moines, IA 50314

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