CED specialist Glennda Bivens tells how providing opportunities for minority entrepreneurs can transform communities. Her story shows one way Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is building a strong Iowa.
When Glennda Bivens, ISU CED specialist, partnered with SBDC and the Iowa Black Business Coalition to create the Untraditional Start-A-Thon, the goal was to increase minority and female entrepreneurship.
Immigrant-owned businesses are becoming more and more prevalent in Iowa. Driving through communities such as Perry, Ottumwa, Storm Lake, and Marshalltown, the impact of immigrant-owned businesses in the central business district is evident. These businesses play a vital role in Iowa’s economy, contributing significantly to our local tax base. Storefronts that would otherwise be empty--due to the general decline in rural retail caused by pull factors such as e-commerce and big box stores--are instead filled with ethnic grocery stores and restaurants, vaquero Western Wear shops, and Quinceañera gowns and party supplies.
The Chronicle of Higher Education highlighted ISU Extension Community and Economic Development’s Himar Hernandez, community development specialist, in their recent article, "In Eastern Iowa, an Extension Agent Works to Revive a Faded City." The article discusses Hernandez work with the Wapello County Extension Office and the city of Ottumwa.