The Community Vitality Center (CVC) celebrated its fifth anniversary in June, but hold the gifts of wood and silverware. This anniversary was celebrated by observing something much more valuable: increased entrepreneurship and philanthropy in Iowa communities. ISU Extension is the center’s administrative host and fiscal agent. CVC’s newest initiatives include working with emerging partnerships that help small rural entrepreneurs gain access to capital, enhancing capacity for building local endowments and encouraging excellence in local government.
“CVC plans to continue its challenge grants for community and youth entrepreneurship and be a catalyst in areas with entrepreneurial gaps,” said Director Mark Edelman. “We are collaborating with the Iowa Bankers Association, Iowa Area Development Group, Community Development Financial Institutions, several ISU centers, and Small Business Development Centers and others to discuss better ways of providing access to capital for small business entrepreneurs in rural Iowa and coordinating technical assistance.”
CVC will provide pilot demonstration grants to expand capacity for building local endowments that tap into Iowa’s $5 billion in wealth transfer that occurs through probate every year. Edelman said CVC also will fund a Tax Facts for Financing State and Local Government Data Project in response to requests for local government decision-making information and to enhance governmental excellence.