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Our mission is to empower Iowans with the potential to succeed as they pursue opportunities for financial success.



For more than 25 years, our organization has been committed to empowering Iowans to pursue opportunities for financial success. Originally founded in 1987, a group of leaders committed to addressing the social and economic issues of Iowans in creative ways formed The Institute of Social & Economic Development.

By 1998, we had begun operating the Women's Business Center, funded in cooperation with the U.S. Small Business Administration; one of the first in the nation. We continue to run the only SBA-funded Women's Business Center in Iowa.

With the addition of our free tax prep and planning programs, in partnership with Iowa Department of Human Services and the IRS in 2000, we expanded our methods of empowering Iowans to take hold of their financial success.

Most recently, we have bridged the gap between having great ideas and accessing the necessary capital to back them up. In 2014, we joined forces with Iowa Economic Development Authority to manage their microloan portfolio. Now our business education clients can apply for funds under the same roof.

Through the continual success of the above programs, we made the decision in 2015 to change our name to better reflect our primary focus of empowering people to start or grow small businesses.

Today, we are Iowa Center for Economic Success. Whether someone starts their relationship with us through our Education + Resources, Credit + Lending, or Advocacy + Networking programs, our commitment remains the same: empowering them to turn good ideas into strong plans that result in financial success.

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