Grow Iowa Foundation provides capital for small business, industrial, manufacturing or affordable housing projects within Southwest Iowa.
Who We Are
Grow Iowa Foundation invests in Southwest Iowa – its people, businesses and industries, and affordable housing infrastructure.
Small towns form the backbone of our rural region. Grow Iowa was created as a non-profit organization in 1995 to leverage additional capital to help these towns create opportunities for job creation, entrepreneurship, affordable housing, and community revitalization – to help them “grow”.
What We Do
Grow Iowa raises capital from a variety of sources – government, corporate, foundation and individuals – for its programs. The model is truly a partnering of resources – when investors entrust Grow Iowa with their capital, we finance worthy projects in southwest Iowa. As borrowers repay their loans, Grow Iowa invests with another project. And all of these projects benefit their local communities.
Grow Iowa provides low-interest financing for business starts, expansions and other community development projects. We work in conjunction with local and regional banks to increase small business and industry lending by providing additional, flexible credit helping the borrower fit the bank’s underwriting criteria.
Over half of Grow Iowa borrowers have started new business enterprises while another quarter have expanded currently operating business. Other projects have focused on the retention of area businesses and industrial development. Grow Iowa can finance most business and industry needs in the region with the exception of production agriculture.
Partnerships are essential to Grow Iowa’s work. Without our local, regional, state and national partners collaborating to create additional investment in southwest Iowa, Grow Iowa could not meet its community and economic development mission. By working together, Grow Iowa and the following types of partners can bring about more business and housing projects in the region than by working separately.
Local and regional financial institutions co-lend on business and housing projects to increase capital investment within the region. The addition of Grow Iowa’s low-interest, flexible credit often helps projects that otherwise would not be approved for a loan fit into the bank’s underwriting criteria. Banks with a possible co-lending deal should contact Grow Iowa directly.
Individuals, businesses and organizations that use Grow Iowa financing create additional wealth and job creation in the region. Potential applicants can contact Grow Iowa directly to discuss a project, but must have a co-lender in place before we can proceed with the application process.
Grow Iowa’s programs depends on local partnerships to spur additional affordable rental housing, housing construction and business/economic development projects. The specific partnerships depend on the local community, but Grow Iowa has worked with city officials, community development corporations, business leaders, local developers, realtors and members of the media. Community leaders may contact Grow Iowa to discuss possible projects and to arrange for a local presentation on Grow Iowa’s programs.
Grow Iowa depends on donations and grants to support its lending and operations in order to allow loan payments and fees to revolve back into local projects. As a 501c3 tax exempt nonprofit organization, contributions are tax deductible. If you would like to support Grow Iowa’s work or know an individual or organization who may be interested in supporting business and housing expansion in southwest Iowa, please contact Grow Iowa directly.
Investors lend capital to Grow Iowa for us to finance business and affordable housing projects in southwest Iowa. These investors are concerned about the social impact of their investment and accept a below-market return–typically 0% to 3%–in exchange for a “social dividend.”