Small Business Boost Initiative Brings Financial Coaching to Entrepreneurs + Small Business Owners
The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on Greater Des Moines (DSM) small businesses, but a program designed to give entrepreneurs and small business owners the financial empowerment tools to help them succeed will alleviate some of the pressures they have faced.
Angela Connolly, Chair of Polk County Board of Supervisors, and Dr. Ahmed Agyeman, Director of the Evelyn K. Davis Center, appeared on Hello Iowa with host Megan Reuther to discuss how the Small Business Boost Initiative will help small businesses in Iowa.
About the Small Business Boost Initiative
The Financial Empowerment Center was started in March of 2020 at the Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families in order to provide personal financial coaching and business/nonprofit development. A trend was quickly noticed in that many clients who sought help to start businesses also needed to improve their personal finances, and many clients seeking help with their personal finances were doing so in order to start their own business.
The Small Business Boost Initiative recognizes this link between personal and professional financial health and allows entrepreneurs to get both assessed prior to selling their products or services. Using personal finance coaches, the initiative tackles startup challenges like credit, budget, separation of business and personal finances and more. The pilot program aligns with the county’s economic wellbeing priorities and brings diversity in business to the region through the help provided to individuals with big ideas, strong skills and unique products.
A Positive Partnership
Through the partnership between the Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families, DMACC, Polk County, Cities for Financial Empowerment and the Principal Foundation, four financial coaches help navigate the personal finance piece for families. Between March 2020 and February 2021, coaches served about 520 clients for about 1,800 individual sessions. For personal business clients, credit scores have increased. The partnership of the three organizations listed above will bring new opportunities to DSM by allowing creative would-be business owners in the region to make their dreams a reality, in turn boosting the local economy.
To learn more, call (515) 306-2541 or visit evelynkdaviscenter.org.
Greater Des Moines (DSM) has one of the best business climates in the country. The region is nationally recognized for having a talented and educated workforce, a cost of doing business 13% below the national average, a low cost of living and an exceptional quality of life. In 2022, Site Selection Magazine named it a top metro for number of economic development projects. Find out more about how your business can succeed in DSM with the help of the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Economic Development Prospectus.
Meg Schneider serves as Senior Vice President of Business Resources and Community Development at the Greater Des Moines Partnership. She is a member of the Forbes Nonprofit Council, an invitation-only organization for senior-level executives in successful nonprofit organizations.