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Rural Ideas Network Receives Empower Rural Iowa Grant to Support Rural Entrepreneurs

The Rural Ideas Network (RIN) has been awarded a $20,000 Rural Scale-Up grant from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) to expand its efforts to help rural communities across Iowa support their local entrepreneurs.

This grant funding announcement comes on the heels of the RIN receiving a $412,000 grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) in partnership with the East Central Iowa Council of Governments. Funding from both IEDA and the EDA will help rural communities launch coworking innovation and entrepreneurship hubs and connect new and existing businesses with high-quality support services.

“These recent investments in our work are exciting and demonstrate that key stakeholders in Iowa and beyond see our proven programs as an effective way to support rural entrepreneurship and economic growth,” says Jordan DeGree, Rural Ideas Network director.

In addition to the EDA and IEDA, early supporters of the Rural Ideas Network include Dupaco Community Credit Union, Dubuque County Supervisors, UW-Platteville, and the Workers Lab. The support from these organizations has enabled the RIN to partner with communities across five states, helping launch coworking innovation and entrepreneurship hubs and giving over 700,000 rural residents access to business support services.

As part of this grant, the RIN will provide low or no-cost services to a select number of rural communities that are interested in opening a coworking space or bringing a Business Lab to their community. In the coming months, a Request for Proposals will be available to communities interested in applying for the scholarships. Email to express an interest in this exciting opportunity.

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