The Greater Des Moines Partnership has launched an online economic development tool to help small business owners and entrepreneurs find resources via a "one-stop shop." Central Iowa Sourcelink went live on Monday, May 21. It provides small businesses with assistance information online or it will direct them to community partners and programs that help entrepreneurs start, sustain and grow their businesses. The organization led the development of the Internet resource in response to a recommendation included in the Capital Crossroads regional economic development vision plan to increase support for small business and entrepreneurs.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority has also contracted with SourceLink to take the program statewide this fall. As part of the Authority's continuing work with existing small businesses in the state and efforts to support the creation of more small businesses, the IEDA has been working with an ad hoc advisory committee to determine ways to further improve the environment for entrepreneurship. One of the committee's recommendations was to improve access to the many resources that are available to small business owners but are sometimes difficult to locate. By working with the Partnership and other regional groups, IEDA will populate information on service providers from around the state.
U.S. SourceLink is America's largest resource network for entrepreneurs. Its mission is to match aspiring and existing entrepreneurs to the resources they need to grow by uniting existing business development programs into collaborative networks, and providing a highly reliable and visible source of business startup and growth information. There are currently 20 networks in place across the country. U.S. SourceLink founders include the Kauffman Foundation, University of Missouri-Kansas City and the Small Business Administration. To tap into the local network, go to www.cisourcelink.com.