Starting a new business takes planning and a good sense of direction, but you don't have to travel that difficult path alone.

Many entrepreneurial programs are available through the Center for Business Growth and Innovation in UNI's Business and Community Services division(BCS). As an entrepreneur, you can receive direction and resources to help realize your business goals.

Almost all of our programs have been either nominated and/or won regional, national and international awards, including accolades from organizations like: the Mid-America Economic Development Association, the University Economic Development Association and the International Economic Development Council.  Frequently, UNI CBGI initiatives are heralded as best practice examples for economic development practitioners nationally on how universities can leverage their unique assets to create meaningful impact on regional economies.

 

UNI Dream Big Grow Here award winners

 

Resources for Entrepreneurs

The Center for Business Growth and Innovation’s team philosophy is to listen to the entrepreneurial community, imagine what we can do to fill gaps in their needs; then create sharable and collaboratively driven solutions leveraging our technology and university assets. Annually, we evaluate how we’ve done and strive to scale those resources that are effective to maximize economic impact for Iowa entrepreneurs.

 

Dream Big Grow Here

Dream Big Grow Here is Iowa’s premier business grant program providing thousands of dollars in grants and customized technical assistance to help entrepreneurs start or expand their business endeavors.
 

UNI John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center

The UNI John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center provides a range of innovative educational programs and support services designed for student entrepreneurs.

 

Innovation Incubator

The Innovation Incubator's state of the art facility provides technological resources, classroom and office space and priority access to business experts and UNI professors across a diverse selection of industries.

 

Latest News & Views


UNI Student Entrepreneur
UNI strengthens commitment to entrepreneurship with department of marketing name change

The University of Northern Iowa announced a change to the name of its marketing department to reflect long-held entrepreneurial values that in recent years have surged in popularity for current and prospective students. The new name, the Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, was approved by the Board of Regents at a June 4 meeting and both reflects and legitimizes the department's commitment to teaching the mindset, values and strategies of entrepreneurs.

1 week 2 days ago
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. 

1 month 1 week 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.

1 month 1 week 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.

1 month 2 weeks ago