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Entrepreneur Support

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Creating New Opportunities for Students, Entrepreneurs and Area Businesses

In 2016, the Donald Tietz Charitable Foundation pledged it's support for funding the operations of a new business center at Iowa Lakes Community College in Algona, Iowa. The foundation committed $75,000 annually for three years to assist in the formation of the Tietz Entrepreneurial Center (TEC). The vision of the TEC was not only to add additional business classes, but to also enhance economic development and assist entrepreneurs throughout the region.

Donald Tietz has been an entrepreneur most of his life, and wants to show people and specifically young entrepreneurs that "real opportunity is out there. I see it out there. The goal is to teach people to recognize the opportunity and create a business plan to make it work." The hope is that the Center will encourage young people to return to the area to achieve their dreams.


Since it's opening, the Tietz Entrepreneurial Center has expanded student programming, added workshops and seminars, and partners with local businesses for trainings and events. The Center also introduced entrepreneurism to students in elementary classes through high school. Tietz Entrepreneurial Center works in collaboration with the Small Business Development Center to provide individuals with no-fee counseling to assist them with a business idea or start-up plan. TEC boasts state-of-the-art classrooms, a conference room, soft seating and a creative space to work on business planning.


"Tietz Foundation Extends Commitment to the ILCC Area" (Kossuth County Advance, 11/26/20)

"Iowa Lakes Tietz Center Wants to Connect with Local Entrepreneurs" (Kossuth County Advance, 2/4/21)


I want the Center to help teach and train an aspiring person to recognize opportunity and seize it.


Helping Students Become Entrepreneurs

You'll witness teamwork, collaboration, communication, enhanced leadership skills and some amazing products at the Entrepreneur for a Day workshop. The purpose of the E4D program is to introduce fifth (or sixth) grade students to the essential concepts of entrepreneurship and economics. The program introduces basic concepts of how to start a business and product development and is taught in two parts. The first is an in-class seminar at the students' school, explaining basic vocabulary and concepts of entrepreneurship. In the second segment, students take a day trip to the Iowa Lakes Emmetsburg campus to practice what they learned. They experience the distinct difference between being a business owner versus being an employee. Playing off of Don's vision for the younger generation, the program encourages students to view entrepreneurship as a viable career pathway and understand that passions can become a career. Click here for more information about the E4D program.

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