Mindes to Study Barriers to Entrepreneurship in Iowa

New sociology professor holds extension and outreach duties

October 27, 2021, 8:40 am | Samuel Mindes

AMES, Iowa – With an interest in rural and minority entrepreneurship, Sam Mindes hopes to identify the social determinants of self-employment in Iowa – and help more Iowans be successful.

Mindes was hired at Iowa State University in August as an adjunct assistant professor in rural sociology. Along with his teaching duties, he will conduct research related to self-employment and entrepreneurship for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Sam Mindes.“I want to find out what the barriers are to self-employment, to starting a business and staying in business and determine if people are being forced into self-employment or being pulled into self-employment,” said Mindes, who will serve both the Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Community and Economic Development branches of extension.

Mindes said he is looking forward to visiting the communities of Iowa and speaking directly with business owners and potential business owners “about the barriers and opportunities within their communities.”

Common barriers include language, cultural differences, and sociological and economic differences, among others. Mindes has an extensive background in sociology. His undergraduate, masters and Ph.D. were all in sociology, with a special emphasis on global sociology and issues related to international migration and international development.

“We’re so excited to welcome Sam to the Extension Sociology team,” said J. Arbuckle, professor and extension sociologist at Iowa State. “His expertise and applied research skills will really enhance extension’s capacity to foster community resilience across Iowa.”

Prior to Iowa State, he was an instructor at Washington State University, and most recently completed his postdoctoral training at the University of Idaho, in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology. 

Mindes’ wife, Katie Dentzman, is an assistant professor in rural sociology and rural public policy at Iowa State. Aside from teaching and research, they both enjoy hiking and the outdoors, and spending time with their dog, Ruby.

To learn more about Mindes and his work, contact him at smindes@iastate.edu or 515-294-2556.

Shareable photo: Sam Mindes.


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