Previous Classes + Events

Our educational series, workshops, and groups are designed to empower you to own the drive to pursue entrepreneurship. Our class and event lineup include business planning courses, special topics such as accounting, legal or marketing, networking events, and small accountability groups that can help you feel connected, supported and confident to move forward.

Below are available recordings from previous live webinars, classes and events. (Click on the event graphic to view the video.)

To view upcoming events please click here.

Ascent: Elevate your Business

What is Ascent? Ascent is an online learning platform that utilizes a modern, e-learning approach specifically targeted for women business owners who want to grow their existing businesses. It’s packed with resources women need to set, and achieve, their business goals. All content is backed by research on the needs of women business owners.

What is the purpose of Ascent? Ascent’s purpose is threefold:

  1. Cover more ground: Reach women business owners who may not be close to field offices.
  2. Look to the future: Create a digital experience that is more in line with how today’s entrepreneurs seek information.
  3. Identify resource gaps: Build a resource for women entrepreneurs who are ready to scale their businesses.

The Story Of Taufeek Shah   

Listen to the stories of entrepreneurs, small business owners, and community members making their mark in Iowa. As you create your own story, treat yourself to this time each month to rekindle your entrepreneurial spirit and connect with others.

Join us as we listen to the story of Taufeek Shah the CEO of Lola’s Fine Sauces. Taufeek will share his entrepreneurial journey from his time in corporate America to running his own company. Taufeek believes the company is all about family and embracing your heritage, and what better way to do that than to share Lola’s family hot sauce recipe with the world.

Reaching Your Most Profitable Customers Online

With 81% of consumers starting their search for products and service online, your small business needs to be ready to grab their attention. Learn the fundamentals of online marketing in this information packed session from certified marketing consultant and coach, Kris Winter of BrandSpec Marketing.


  • The importance of a core message and how to craft one
  • Setting up a web site that converts
  • Google Business Profile
  • Mastering everyday SEO
  • Building a review process
  • The right way to use social media
  • Lead generation tactics
  • Analytics

How Businesses Obtain Credit

In this session, business owners will learn the value of creditworthiness and how to maintain a good business credit score. They’ll also discover the documents necessary to make a successful application for a business loan.

This workshop will answer these big questions:

  • How do small businesses build and maintain credit?
  • How is creditworthiness measured for small businesses?
  • What is the connection between personal and business credit?
  • What documents are needed for small business credit applications?

Top 5 Things to Know About QuickBooks  

Whether you are starting your first business or an experienced business owner, accounting is a crucial part of your operations. For many entrepreneurs, this responsibility falls on them and can cause major headaches if it is not taken care of. Join Drake Vant Hul, CEO of Performance Financial, LLC as we cover the top things you need to know about the accounting platform, Quickbooks.

Always Ready: Financials  

As a small business owner, you won’t ever really know the unexpected challenges or opportunities that await you in life and business. Always Ready: Financials is a working session for you to learn how to financially prepare your small business for the next step in your journey.

The Iowa Center staff will show you what you need to do to always be ready to make financial moves in your business, including applying for a loan or buying/selling new goods. This class is especially for you if you’ve ever been denied a loan or need a helping hand to get your financials on track.

Always Ready: Business Plan  

Turn your dream into a plan with this small group, one-hour business planning class. The Iowa Center staff will help you kickstart your business plan by providing you a road map on completing your plan and taking the next steps towards business ownership. Also connect with other aspiring small business owners to refine your business ideas as you put them into real plans.

Protect Your Small Business From Fraud 

You work hard to build your business–you need to know how to protect it.

With this seminar learn how you can break down your objectives and secure the financial future of your business.

What you’ll learn…

  • How to protect yourself from fraud
  • Types of fraud
  • How to recognize the warning signs

Top 5 Things Small Biz Owners Need to Know About Tax Time 

Are you ready for tax season? Please join us as we discuss the top 5 things you need to know as a small business owner to file your 2021 taxes accurately and timely.

We will discuss best bookkeeping practices to prepare for tax time, the types of federal and state income tax you will be subject to as a small business owner, and how your small business net income impacts your individual tax return.

We will also discuss possible year-end payroll tax filing requirements, 2022 tax planning and quarterly estimated tax payment considerations going into 2022.

Ready to Make it Happen in 2022? 

Ready to Make it Happen in 2022? What is it? It is anything that you have been thinking about and/or talking about for a long time, but not actually doing (yet!). Join Michelle Rembert, owner of Momentom3 Mind Body & Beyond, LLC, for this engaging and interactive workshop designed to help you get clear on what you most want to make happen personally and/or professionally, figure out what gets in your way or keeps you stuck, and learn evidenced-based strategies to set yourself up for success in 2022! You will walk away with a plan to honor your commitment to yourself, to take inspired action, and to make it happen – now!

Retention & Talent Acquisition for 2022: What You Need To Know In The New Normal 

Now more than ever it is difficult to retain and/or attract new talent for your business. Join us as we ask Ronee Andersen, Owner of Coaching and Consulting by Ronee LLC, her tips and tricks for pivoting your business to the new normal of hiring and retention for your employees.

In this session you will learn:

  • What employees want to stay
  • What managers need to retain employees
  • How to attract top talent
  • How to retain your high achievers

The Story of Tobi Parks, owner of xBk 

Tobi Parks is a musician; entertainment attorney; Owner/CEO of xBk (Des Moines); and Board Vice President for the National Independent Venue Association Foundation. Join us as we hear Tobi’s story, how Covid impacted xBk, what moves she made to pivot, survive, and thrive!

Tax Tips for Small Business Owners 

Are you a small business owner looking to file your own taxes or thinking about opening your own business? Whether you are a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, this webinar will be full of important info and tips as we approach tax season. Join The Iowa Center and Ann Hartz of CPA Des Moines as we cover plenty of important information for tax time.

The Story of Volition Skate  

Volition Skate Co. was founded by Jen Kranz and Kate Vigmostad in 2020 – at the height of the global pandemic. We started Volition Skate Co. because we want to share the JOY and the freedom roller skating brings to our lives with as many people as possible. We chose the name Volition, because we want to remind ourselves and inspire others to call upon themselves to create the life and the world they want to live in.

Setting Up Your Business: 5 Elements of an Effective Website 

People visiting your website need to understand three things within just a few seconds—what you do, in what way(s) your brand can help them, and what to do next. We’ll discuss five simple website elements that can help visitors quickly understand the value of what you offer and take the next step toward engaging with your brand.

Setting Up Your Business: Break Through the Noise with Influencer Marketing 

Is your company ready to partner with local influencers to experience your brand and talk about it on social media? Learn how businesses of all shapes and sizes are working with local influencers & everyday community members to build awareness, convert strangers to buyers, and establish lifelong customers with Emily Steele, Founder of #dsmhummingbirds.

Email Marketing 101: Q&A   

Think of how often you receive an email from a local business and immediately delete it. How many times does that happen to your business’s emails? Email marketing can be a very effective way to create repeat customers, grow your client base naturally, and share important information quickly, but it is important to do it right. Join us for this session of Small Biz Essentials as Kathryn Towner, founder of Win Communications, will answer questions about how to use email to your advantage as a small business owner.

Start Your Business with Limited Funds  

When people look to start a business they usually come up with an idea and then think about where they can get financing to start their business. Some entrepreneurs get discouraged thinking they need to take out a large loan to start their business, wondering if they will be approved, and stressing about having that debt over their head, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Many small businesses start without taking out large loans; it just takes being creative, working hard, and knowing/utilizing your resources. Join us for this webinar featuring Lyssa Wade, founder and owner of Veggie Thumper, as she shares her story of starting a business with limited funding and tips for making it happen.

Build A Brand That Works For You  

If someone asked you to define your company’s brand, what would you say? Do you know how to define you and your business in a descriptive, efficient way? Branding can be a confusing topic, but it is crucial to the identity of your business and to marketing who you are and what you do. Participants in the presentation will learn what a brand is, what is actually important when building a brand, where to start, and how to begin uncovering their unique brand.

The Story of Shelby Smith, owner of Gym-N-Eat Crickets    

Shelby Smith is the owner of Gym-N-Eat Crickets. She has been raising bugs and convincing people to eat them since 2018.  Gym-N-Eat Crickets produces sustainable, alternative protein snacks from farm-raised crickets. What started as a few tubs of crickets and a small stall at the local farmers market has bloomed into a network of cricket farms around the state of Iowa and tasty cricket snacks on shelves around the country.

Busting Myths of Small Business Security 

There are a lot of misunderstandings around cybersecurity, and it is crucial to know everything you can about the internet and protecting you and your clients’ data. Join James Bierly, owner and founder of Secure Point Solutions as we cover commonly believed myths by small business owners and decisions makers as it relates to Cybersecurity using real world examples and comparisons to other types of crime.

10 Tax Basics for Beginning Businesses   

Beginning businesses have a lot to worry about from generating revenue to marketing a brand to hiring employees. Taxes, however, continue to be a top concern for business owners. In this session, ten tax basics will be discussed including entity choices, deductions, and strategic considerations so business owners will have a better understanding of how taxes impact their business and what they can do to minimize the tax impact on their bottom line.

Records and Accounting Basics    

Business owners have a lot to keep track of outside of just running the business, and one of the biggest headaches is keeping accurate financial records. Many small business owners end up handling recordkeeping themselves to save money, but it is important to know what you need to do when you are your own accountant. 

Social Media: Results Based Content

Join Drew Harden, President and Co-Founder of Blue Compass, and Mallory Cates, Digital Marketing Specialist of Blue Compass as they share insights on the importance of social media platforms, how to create results-based content, action steps you can implement today, and connecting with your audience online. Blue Compass is a leading digital marketing agency in the Midwest.

The Story of Alok Oberoi, owner of Donut Hut    

Listen to the story of how one of the best donut shops in Des Moines came to be! Alok Oberoi shared: to run my own business was my childhood dream. Not a big one- but one which I can enjoy with my customers with mutual respect. After waiting for many years, Lord Almighty gave me the opportunity to open Donut Hut in September of 2009.

Top 5 Things to Know About Pricing for Profit in Your Small Business     

Join Renee Vogt, Owner of Renee’s Ceramic Café as she shares her experiences with starting her business. Renee wants to help you skip the early mistakes many business owners make by sharing tips she has learned from her 16 years of running Renee’s Ceramic Café.

Managing Your Point of Sale Systems: What You Need to Know 

As more business transactions move cashless, business owners need to know how to manage their Point of Sale (POS) systems. POS systems can help business owners in many more ways than just keeping track of sales and allowing them to accept credit cards. Join Erik Anderson from Electronic Office as we talk through all the things you should know about your POS system and how to manage it as a small business owner.

5 Questions Every Elevator Pitch Must Answer    

Thousands, if not millions, of dollars in sales are lost everyday because business owners and sales professionals don’t articulate themselves well. The truth is, up to 80 percent of sales is storytelling, and a well-crafted elevator pitch can open the door to a valuable connection, partnership or referral.

You’ll leave confident in your answer to the question, “so, what do you do?”

The Story of Cassie Sampson, owner of East Village Spa      

Cassie Sampson opened East Village Spa in 2008, which has grown to employ a team of 20. At East Village Spa, the motto is Every. Body. Welcome. We strive to provide a comfortable place for diverse employees and guests, with skilled massage therapy, skin care and safe manicures and pedicures. In addition to services, East Village Spa has a gift shop and online retail store.

The Iowa Center Women’s Business Center is funded in part by U.S. Small Business Administration.

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