Ag Ventures Alliance:

Ag Ventures Alliance is an agricultural value-added business development cooperative and angel investment network with over 1,100 members with headquarters in Mason City, Iowa. In 2003, Ag Ventures Alliance organized Rural Development Partners which is a Community Development Entity that receives New Market Tax Credit allocations from the U.S. Treasury to assist with gap financing for larger entrepreneurial projects across rural America.

Ag Ventures Alliance
2023 South Federal
Mason City, Iowa 50401

Executive Director: Terry Carpenter
Phone: 641/494-2368

Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission:

The Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission represents a coalition of Northeast Iowa Economic Development Organizations from seven counties: Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Fayette, Howard, and Winneshiek. This multi-county network is supporting and conducting a wide range of entrepreneurial activities in the region, including:

Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative:
Northeast Iowa Biz Network:

Designated Business Coach:

Rachelle Howe, Project Manager, Upper Explorerland

325 Washington Street, Suite A
Decorah, IA 52101
Executive Director: Aaron Burkes

Region XII Council of Governments:

Region XII Council of Governments represents a coalition of West Central Iowa Economic Development Organizations from eight counties: Adair, Audubon, Carroll, Crawford, Greene, Guthrie, Ida, and Sac Counties. The organizations are involved in multi-community collaboration, initiatives, and development of entrepreneurial resources in the region.

Western Iowa Advantage:

Designated Business Coach:

Rita Frahm, Ida County Economic Development Corp

Region XII Council of Governments
1009 East Anthony Street
P.O. Box 768
Carroll, IA 51401
Executive Director: Rick Hunsaker
Phone: 712-792-9914

Wapello County Microloan Program

The Wapello County Microloan Program is a collaboration of Wapello County business and community leaders with a goal of increasing access to capital for microenterprises in Wapello County. The Program has a local review committee that solicits applications and conducts an initial review of the business. The Program also provides technical support to borrowers in partnership with Wapello County Extension.

Wapello County Microenterprise Program
c/o Himar Hernandez, Wapello County Extension
214 E. Main St.
Ottumwa, IA 52501
Phone: 641-682-5491

ISU Extension and Outreach of Lee County:

ISU Extension and Outreach of Lee County is part of an educational network supported by Iowa State University, Lee County, and USDA. ISU Extension and Outreach of Lee County works to provide learning opportunities for citizens of Lee County, Iowa by providing unbiased, research-based information that will improve quality of life.

Part of the mission of ISU Extension and Outreach of Lee County is to support rural entrepreneurs through the development of a support network and by providing educational opportunities including an annual business plan writing class and competition. In 2013, ISU Extension and Outreach of Lee County in partnership with Iowa Microloan and local partners established a Lee County Microloan program to provide an alternative source of credit and technical assistance for those entrepreneurs who have promising and workable business plans but may have difficulty securing a loan from conventional sources.

ISU Extension and Outreach of Lee County
414 N. Main, Box 70
Donnellson, IA 52625

Alex Merk, Director of Marketing and Operations
Phone: 319-835-5116

Shelley Oltmans, Community Development Specialist
Phone: 319-524-5055

Iowa Community Capital - Solidarity Microfinance Program:

Iowa Community Capital was organized in 2000 to serve as a statewide community development financial institution targeting business technical assistance and very small microloans to low income populations and underserved communities. The Solidarity Microfinance program is the first program of ICC after its reorganization in 2011. Iowa Microloan has continued to provide administrative support services to ICC since reorganization. Solidarity Microfinance has been initiated as a 3 year pilot to demonstrate the peer-group lending methodology and process modeled after methods used in successful projects by the Grameen Bank internationally since 1983.

Ana Mancebo, Program Coordinator
Solidarity Microfinance
607 Forest Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309

Phone: 515-201-8311