Iowa Center for Economic Success Receives Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Grant

Megan Milligan, President + CEO
Iowa Center for Economic Success

Des Moines, Iowa – Iowa Center for Economic Success (The Iowa Center) in collaboration with Muscatine Community College and Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine, was recently awarded a 3-year $295,000 grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. This grant will support the statewide expansion of The Iowa Center to Muscatine and the surrounding areas. 

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Central Standards grant provides matching funds to encourage and accelerate collaborations between two or more entrepreneurship support organizations working together to support Heartland entrepreneurs in the states of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. The Iowa Center was one of the nine recipients of this round of funding.

“If we’re going to build the Heartland that includes all communities and voices, we need to start with focusing on growing an inclusive economy that centers entrepreneurship and innovation. As difficult as that work will be, it will be made even more difficult if we try to do it alone and disconnected. Central Standards grantees are partnering and collaborating to build thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems in the Heartland while also connecting the region to the most innovative practices from across the country.” —Chris Harris, senior program officer in Entrepreneurship at Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

“It is our belief that to be successful in small business one needs support in education, capital, and networking. We provide that support through 1:1 counseling sessions, group classes, networking opportunities, access to capital, and many other services. Through this grant we will now have boots on the ground in the city of Muscatine and surrounding areas to support small business in that region. We are grateful to the community of Muscatine as well as the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine and the Muscatine Community College for their willingness to collaborate with us on this opportunity.” Megan Milligan, President + CEO, Iowa Center for Economic Success

Charla Schafer, Executive Director of Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine became an ally to The Iowa Center a few years ago helping make the choice of a partnership with Muscatine the natural choice. She shares, “Iowa Center for Economic Success empowers clients by educating, equipping, and emboldening them to successfully pursue entrepreneurial opportunities though the provision of foundational support and catalytic tools. Decades ago, local community leaders Dick and Mary Jo Stanley recognized the vision of the Iowa Center, as they worked alongside women and minorities to provide the linkage and tailored support to launch micro-enterprises.  We are thrilled that The Iowa Center has chosen Muscatine to serve as its first satellite office outside of Des Moines, creating bettered economic futures for families in our community.”

Naomi DeWinter, Ed.D., President of Muscatine Community College said “We are eager to work with the team at Iowa Center for Economic Success in building up and supporting the diverse entrepreneurs within our community. Muscatine is brighter and stronger for its rich diversity. With the help of The Iowa Center and the generous gift from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, we will be able to focus efforts to grow small and family businesses which are minority-owned. These efforts can serve to lift up all small businesses in Muscatine county.”

The Greater Des Moines Partnership will also support this effort by helping to promote The Iowa Center to entrepreneurs in rural central Iowa.

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For more than 25 years, Iowa Center for Economic Success has been committed to empowering Iowans to pursue opportunities for financial success. Whether someone starts their relationship with us through our Education, Capital or Networking, our commitment remains the same: empowering them to turn good ideas into strong plans that result in financial success.

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation based in Kansas City, Mo., that seeks to build inclusive prosperity through a prepared workforce and entrepreneur-focused economic development. The Foundation uses its $3 billion in assets to change conditions, address root causes, and breakdown systemic barriers so that all people–regardless of race, gender, or geography–have the opportunity to achieve economic stability, mobility, and prosperity. For more information, and connect with us at and

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