Apr 10, 2024

UNI JPEC provides entrepreneurs with opportunities to start and grow businesses

On March 21, the University of Northern Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (UNI JPEC) celebrated Business Week in the David W. Wilson College of Business with a Student Business Expo. All 10 tenants in the JPEC’s McElroy Student Business Incubator displayed their businesses; some sold products like jewelry and greeting cards while others secured leads for service-based businesses like event planning and photography. 

“The expo gave me confidence to know that I’m capable of having my own business,” said student Haley Hamm [Public Relations, ‘25]. “I wouldn’t have been able to reach that amount of people in a short time without this opportunity. And it was really nice to connect with and inspire other generations of entrepreneurs. Coming into college, I didn’t think I was capable of having my own business. The JPEC has helped me realize that everyone starts somewhere, they helped me grow. Community is huge and I have just felt such a sense of support that I wouldn’t feel had I not taken advantage of the JPEC.”

UNI’s JPEC supports student entrepreneurs with similar opportunities to engage with potential clients and spread the word about their businesses. On April 22, the team will send three UNI students to the 2024 Pappajohn Student Entrepreneurial Venture Competition, a statewide pitch competition for college students hosted by the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers where three prizes of $5,000 are awarded to support student entrepreneurs.

The UNI JPEC aims to empower and support entrepreneurs and innovators at UNI, in the Cedar Valley and throughout Iowa. Located in UNI’s Wilson College of Business and Business & Community Services, it is the centralized hub where Iowa entrepreneurs can find resources, explore programs, collaborate with peers and the community, and develop their new or existing ventures. Learn more at http://jpec.uni.edu

UNI JPEC student selling jewelry