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Surprising insights from UNI State of Iowa Small Business Report

August 27, 2014
Contact: 

Joe Bolick, communications and public relations manager, UNI Business & Community Services, 319-273-6577, mjbolick@uni.edu
Sarah Bey, program manager, UNI Regional Business Center, 319-273-4324, sarah.bey@uni.edu

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Regional Business Center announces the publication of the 2014 Iowa Small Business Report (ISBR). This report is based on data collected from Iowa small business owners in February 2014 associated with their business activity during calendar year 2013.

Each year the ISBR measures sales trends, job growth or loss, capital acquired, and business use of technology among Iowa business owners with fewer than 50 employees. In addition, the 2014 survey measured business needs for technical assistance, networks and capital and asks how small business owners are accessing those services and the value they place in them. The 2014 findings have been published in a full color magazine providing business owners, community leaders and legislators a good look, both visually and in articles, about the current Iowa small business experience.

The 2014 ISBR also includes a second new publication, "The Iowa Woman-Owned Business Experience." It offers the first in-depth look at small businesses in the state owned by women. Nationally, Iowa ranks at or near the bottom of all states in growth of woman-owned businesses. The 2014 report confirms that Iowa woman-owned businesses are generally smaller, younger and employ fewer people than male-owned businesses in the state. Woman-owned businesses do not seem to persist past the 10-year mark, and they consistently miss hitting the $1 million threshold in sales. 

Across the board, Iowa small business owners are calling for less regulation, more capital, better access to their peers online and in person and more supportive communities. According to UNI researcher-In- residence Maureen Collins-Williams, these publications offer relevant suggestions for program and policy changes in the state, noting that, “How well we respond to these needs going forward will be rewarded by more business starts, new jobs and business expansions in Iowa. These are critical findings- especially as it relates to woman-owned businesses in the state.”

Both reports are available for download at www.uni.edu/smallbizsurvey

The Regional Business Center is an award winning and nationally recognized Center of entrepreneurship and small business support programs housed at the University of Northern Iowa. From business incubation on campus, to innovative online services and entrepreneurship research, the Regional Business Center is on the cutting-edge of improving Iowa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The Regional Business Center has conducted the Iowa Small Business Survey annually since 2012.