It's often lonely at the top for business owners. We're here to be a third-party sounding board and trusted advisor. 

For the past two decades, the University of Northern Iowa Center for Business Growth and Innovation (UNI CBGI) has built a network of resources and services designed to attract, connect, and accelerate small business and start-up growth with business assistance, capital, partner resources, and valuable connections to their peers.

The success of UNI CBGI initiatives can be attributed to our team’s philosophy to listen to small business owners, imagine what we can do to make life better, and to create solutions leveraging our university and technology assets. Annually, we evaluate how we’ve done in terms of economic impact, user experiences, and potential to scale. We have learned how to better understand business owners through online interactions, an e-mail listserv, statewide annual survey, regional workshops and outreach events, and webinars.

 

 

Resources to Grow Your Business

Our philosophy is to listen to the business community, imagine what we can do to fill gaps in their needs and 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 business owners.

 

Advance Iowa

Advance Iowa is the State of Iowa’s comprehensive consulting program designed to work with mid-sized companies to enhance their growth.
 

Small Business Development Center 

​Advance Iowa is the State of Iowa’s comprehensive consulting program designed to work with mid-sized companies to enhance their growth.

 

 

Business Concierge

Iowa Business Concierge program seeks to connect entrepreneurs with the right public sector organization that can help them grow, the first time, every time. 
 

Strategic Marketing Services

​Strategic Marketing Services is a full service marketing research organization that delivers customized, targeted, actionable marketplace intelligence to clients of varying sizes, industries, and geographic locations.

 

Latest News & Views


George Graham Rice
SCAMMER OF A CENTURY AGO PIONEERED TACTICS USED TODAY

George Graham Rice? Never heard of him. Who is he? A century ago, though, he was a famous flamboyant scammer, a pied-piper of stock manipulation.

While incarcerated for the third or fourth time, he wrote a series of periodical articles that eventually coalesced into a book. As with other scammers, Rice was brazen, even boastful about his felonious escapades. He wryly entitled his book My Adventures with Your Money.

2 days 14 hours ago
UNI Campanile
Accounting professor doubles as an established painter

Tim Lindquist began painting when he was just a teenager. A friend invited him over to learn how to create a dog on canvas, and Lindquist was hooked. He asked for paints that Christmas and considered majoring in art at college. But he chose accounting instead, becoming an educator and professor at the College of Business.

1 week 5 days ago
Closed Sign
Good-bye, mom and pop restaurants and shops

Most of my readers are familiar with small towns in Iowa that have longstanding family-owned businesses, such as family eateries. Grandparents, parents, and children may own and work in these restaurants. They often have loyal employees that are “part of the family.” These owners may be unable to afford to pay their workers much more than $10 per hour, to say nothing of the proposed $15 per hour minimum wage.

1 month 2 weeks ago
Dictionary Billionaire
All hail the billionaire

After months of dreary experimentation in her basement, Dr. von Frankenstein, PhD, has concocted an effective antidote and vaccine for a deadly virus sweeping the United States. She files and receives a patent for her discovery.

1 month 2 weeks ago
Piggy Bank
New ways to milk customers

There’s a new way marketers are getting young people to fork over their money. The new tactic revolves around consumers making four payments of one-quarter the retail price of an item (Amanda Mull, “Jeans Now, Pay Later,” Atlantic, January/February 2021, 18-20). This is just the old come-on--“Buy now, pay later”—in a new guise.

1 month 2 weeks ago
Money in Wallet
What does it mean to live the good life?

By anyone’s estimation, the recently deceased Vernon Jordan was a “mover and shaker.” A commentary on his life referred to him as, “a civil-rights leader, Washington insider, Wise Man, power broker, deal maker, rainmaker, Wall Street banker and, as an interviewer put it a few years ago in the Financial Times, ‘the most connected man in America (Peggy Noonan, “America Loses a Wise Man,” Wall Street Journal, March 6-7, 2021, A13).’” Whew!

1 month 4 weeks ago