Examining where minority business owners stand in Iowa, the Corridor

We Create Here was an initiative within the Gazette Company to develop evolving narratives and authentic conversations throughout Iowa's Creative Corridor. read more

I was just pointed by a colleague to a discussion that peaked my interest happening now on NPR's program "Tell Me More." The radio station is focusing on blacks in technology. You can follow the discussion here.

As I explored the site, I began to think about the relevance to my coverage area at We Create Here. I've written a number of stories on why diversity matters to Corridor businesses. I've also looked at how businesses are preparing for the state's changing demographics.

For my next piece, I'm going to interview Corridor minority business owners and find out what their experience is like. I've contacted the Regional Economic Development Institute, whose mission is to "attract, retain, empower, and sustain African-American business leaders through sound economic principles and entrepreneurship activities within the Cedar Rapids Corridor, the region and the state of Iowa," according to its website.

I want to find out what struggles and hardships minority business owners face and whether forming relationships with other entrepreneurial organizations will be helpful. What are they looking for in terms of support? Do they feel included in the larger conversation about entrepreneurship in the Corridor?Do you know of a minority business owner I should speak with? Let me know at or 319-398-8330. I'm also on twitter @kiran_gazette.

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