Simpson earns grant for business development

Simpson earns grant for business development

by Hanna RussmannStaff Writer

Simpson College has received a grant to help develop new and existing small businesses in and around Indianola. Simpson will partner with Iowans for Social and Economic Development (ISED) on the project.

Professor of Management Marilyn Mueller played a role in making the grant possible.

“Last fall, I had a sabbatical leave from Simpson College,” Mueller said. “I worked with Iowans for Social and Economic Development and had a very positive experience and got to see how the organization worked. Based on building that relationship, Simpson College eventually partnered with ISED to help bring this grant.”

In 2011, Professor of Economics Jim Palmieri will continue the partnership with ISED. In the spring of that year, Palmieri will spend his sabbatical in the Des Moines-based offices of ISED.

Funding was made possible under the Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs Act.

The grant was applied for through the Southview Expanded Entrepreneur Development Program. Through this program, Simpson and ISED will receive $75,000 a year for five years.

Plans have been made to use the grant to bring business people, students and retirees together in a positive environment. To achieve this, a central office will be set up in Indianola as a base of operations.

According to Mueller, this grant is important to Simpson and the surrounding community because it will bring more opportunities for student internships and faculty development at the college. It could also help stimulate economic development in the surrounding community.

Mueller likes this project and is involved for the opportunities it provides for the students.

“We want to strengthen the relationship that we have and provide more and more opportunities for our students,” Mueller said. “That’s why I’m involved, and that’s why Simpson is involved to provide opportunities for students.”

This grant is also important to ISED because their mission is to help low income families and communities find financial stability. With this money they can do more to help families and communities.

President John Byrd likes this as well for the many opportunities it presents to Simpson.

“It will be a great opportunity for our students to be involved in helping individuals to start small businesses,” Byrd said. “Secondly, it is a great opportunity for (Simpson) to be in partnership with the city and the county in economic development activities, and I think thirdly, it really reflects (Simpson’s) mission to be in service to others and with others.”

Byrd also said the grant has educational importance.

“It’s important from an educational perspective, and it’s important as we strive to develop partnerships within the community,” Byrd said.

Cindy Nisely, director of foundation and government support, has high hopes for this grant.

“We hope that student entrepreneurs will become clients of the project,” Nisley said. “We hope that the project complements some of the many programs already in existence and that the results benefit the entire community.”