A new idea that would positively impact thousands throughout Iowa.

In 1985, it was recognized that businesses across the state were in need of professional assistance in starting, maintaining and growing their businesses. With this in mind, the University of Northern Iowa began a new collaboration to develop programs with the purpose of providing outreach to businesses and communities across Iowa.

Over the next decade, UNI leadership devoted considerable time to better understand local-level economic development needs across the state. The outcome resulted in the creation of 12 programs that would address specific needs such as community and economic development, entrepreneurship and the environment.

The programs were brought together in the year 2000 under the umbrella of Business and Community Services (BCS). BCS works with businesses, entrepreneurs, communities and governments, providing a wide array of services from marketing research and business incubation, to environmental compliance assistance and economic development. The BCS brand continues to grow to cater to the needs of Iowa businesses providing unsurpassed expertise and knowledge.

 

Business and Community Services Programs

Latest News & Views


UNI Entrepreneur Rob Sales
UNI student spreads joy one doughnut at a time

Robert Sales arrived at UNI knowing he wanted to be an entrepreneur. The Pella native’s business instincts had been apparent since he was a first-grader who won a contract mowing vacant lots in his neighborhood. At UNI, Sales focused on the food industry, launching a food truck business and then, with help from professors and mentors, narrowed his focus to selling mini doughnuts. 

4 days 11 hours ago
UNI Real Estate
'It’s not just learning to sell houses': A look inside UNI's real estate program

It was 1976 and Arthur Cox was at his first day on the job as salesperson at a Quad Cities real estate firm. Excited to learn the ins and outs of his new position, he followed his boss to the open-office area where the company’s brokers spent a portion of their workdays. Rows of desks filled the space, and Cox’s then-boss pointed to an empty workstation and left Cox to do his job without any more introductions or training.

5 days 8 hours ago
Empty shelves covid19
Aspiring entrepreneur hopes to make killing, gets shamed

You may recall a recent news story and photo of a young, enterprising man with a garage full of toilet paper, hand sanitizers, and other merchandise. This was early in March, and he decided to invest money in items that might escalate in value. Although there was a “run” on toilet paper, the young man certainly did not “corner the market” on these commodities. He broke no laws or used any inside political advantage. Other people were free to stuff their garages with toilet paper and hand sanitizers.

6 days 8 hours ago
Stock Market
UNIBusiness security analysis class uses Krause Fund to learn real-world trading tools

It’s hard to replicate the feeling of investing in a real portfolio made up of real money. At UNIBusiness, the Krause Fund provides an opportunity for students to do exactly that. It started more than two decades ago, when Bill Krause, the founder of Kum and Go, donated $100,000 to four universities, including UNI, hoping to see them compete on performance.

1 week 1 day ago
Cahalan Ambrosy UNIBusiness
UNIBusiness alumni return home to continue careers in real estate

Ryan Cahalan (Finance, ’99) has always considered Iowa his home. That was true even as he worked almost 20 years of his real estate career outside of the state. He returned to Iowa just a few years ago, and is now working to grow his own business, Artisan Capital Group in Des Moines, of which he is a co-founder and partner.

2 weeks 5 days ago
Jepson Symposium Speaker
Jepson Forum shares a global vision with a local focus

Lawrence Jepson understood the importance of global economics long before many of his peers in the 1970s. A Wall Street businessman, Jepson used to say if a Zurich banker sneezed, someone in the United States caught a cold. Jepson came to the United States as an immigrant from Denmark.

3 weeks 5 days ago