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Advance Iowa program begins at UNI

September 16, 2013

Joe Bolick, communications and public relations, UNI Business & Community Services, 319-273-6577,

Dan Beenken, program manager, Advance Iowa, UNI Business & Community Services, 319-273-4322,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Advance Iowa program, the state's only certified Economic Gardening center, has officially started. Advance Iowa is an economic development program that focuses on the expansion of small and medium-sized businesses using the Economic Gardening approach.

Economic Gardening is often referred to as a "grow your own" strategy for economic development and is a proven economic growth strategy that focuses on providing information and tools to grow existing businesses. To use this approach to meet the unique needs of Iowa, the Advance Iowa team consists of skilled researchers who mine sophisticated databases and use high-end tools related to search engine optimization, geographic information systems and social media marketing.

Advance Iowa partners with economic development organizations across the state who then locate businesses within their region that are prime for growth. The Advance Iowa team works directly with the business along with the economic development organization to gather customized actionable data and develop a plan to implement the strategies developed.

Advance Iowa is a program of Business & Community Services (BCS) at the University of Northern Iowa. For more information, visit or contact Joe Bolick, communications and public relations for BCS, at 319-273-6577 or, or Dan Beenken, program manager for Advance Iowa, at 319-273-4322 or