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17 Best Business Ideas in Iowa

Written by:

Esther is a business strategist with over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, executive, educator, and management advisor.

Edited by:

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

17 Best Business Ideas in Iowa

Based on the steady increase in jobs, Iowa is recovering well from the pandemic slump, with many new jobs in the accommodations, food services and manufacturing sectors. 

The corresponding increase in disposable income bodes well for startups. If you’re looking for guidance on what might do well, you could bake cakes or make candles, open a boutique or a liquor store.

Check out our list of excellent Iowa business ideas to jumpstart your entrepreneurial journey.

1. Manufacturing

How to Start a Pallet Manufacturing Business

In Iowa’s strong manufacturing sector, a business could focus on the production of agricultural equipment, food products, or renewable energy components, such as wind turbines, capitalizing on the state’s abundant resources and skilled workforce. A commitment to quality and innovation could set a manufacturing business apart in the heartland of America’s industrial landscape.

2. Insurance

How to start a insurance agency

With a stable economy and a growing population, Iowa presents a promising market for insurance services. A business could offer a range of insurance products, including life, health, and property insurance, tailored to the needs of individuals, families, and businesses in the region, ensuring peace of mind for the heartland’s diverse clientele.

3. Rental Property

How to start a rental property business

Leveraging Iowa’s affordable real estate market, a rental property business could provide housing solutions to the state’s residents and a steady income for owners. Whether catering to the urban population in Des Moines or offering rural retreats, there’s potential for growth in both short-term and long-term rental markets.

4. Fish Farm

How to start a fish farming business

Iowa, with its extensive network of waterways, is an ideal location for a fish farm business. This venture could focus on sustainable aquaculture practices to raise popular species such as catfish or tilapia, providing a local source of fresh seafood to restaurants and markets across the Midwest.

5. Health Care

How to start a home health care business

A healthcare business in Iowa could benefit from the state’s aging population and rural areas in need of medical services. By offering innovative healthcare solutions, such as mobile clinics or telemedicine, the business could meet the growing demand for convenient and accessible healthcare options.

6. Wholesale

wholesale business idea

A wholesale business in Iowa could capitalize on the state’s robust agricultural production by supplying local food businesses with fresh produce, meats, and dairy. By connecting Iowa’s farmers with markets, a wholesaler could support the local economy while ensuring that the heartland’s bounty reaches a broader audience.

7. Liquor Store

How to start a liquor store

Opening a liquor store in Iowa could serve the community’s demand for a variety of alcoholic beverages. With a focus on providing a selection of locally produced wines, beers, and spirits, alongside popular national brands, the store could become a hub for adults seeking quality and convenience.

8. Dog Breeding

How to start a dog breeding business

A dog breeding business in Iowa could cater to the love for pets in the heartland. Specializing in a particular breed, the business could ensure ethical breeding practices and proper care, while offering potential pet owners healthy and well-socialized puppies.

9. Clothing Boutique

How to start a clothing boutique business

A boutique in Iowa offering unique clothing and accessories could attract fashion-conscious individuals seeking a personalized shopping experience. By incorporating local design talent and trends, the boutique could stand out by offering a curated selection not found in larger retail chains.

10. Music Production Company

How to start a music production company

With a rich cultural scene, a music production company in Iowa could tap into the local talent and national acts passing through. Offering recording, mixing, and production services, the company could become a cornerstone for the music community, from burgeoning artists to established performers.

11. CBD Products

How to start a cbd business

With the growing popularity and legalization of CBD products for wellness, a business in Iowa could thrive by offering a variety of CBD oils, edibles, and topicals. Sourcing high-quality hemp and focusing on education around CBD benefits could build a loyal customer base.

12. Fashion Business

How to start a clothing line business

Starting a fashion business in Iowa could leverage the interest in Midwest style and craftsmanship. From designing and producing apparel to hosting fashion events, the business could showcase the region’s fashion sense while also incorporating sustainable and local materials.

13. Blog

blog business idea

A blog based in Iowa could cover a range of topics pertinent to the local community, such as agriculture, Midwest living, or local politics. With engaging content and strong SEO practices, it could attract a dedicated following and generate revenue through advertising, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing.

14. Digital Marketing Agency

How to start a digital marketing agency

A digital marketing agency in Iowa could help local businesses enhance their online presence. By offering services such as SEO, social media management, and content creation, the agency could be pivotal in connecting Iowa businesses with a wider audience.

15. Candle Shop

How to start a candle business

A candle shop could offer handcrafted candles with unique scents inspired by Iowa’s landscapes. With an emphasis on natural ingredients and eco-friendly packaging, the shop could appeal to consumers looking for home decor that’s both beautiful and sustainable.

16. Cake Making

How to start a cake business

Starting a cake making business in Iowa could cater to celebrations throughout the state. By creating custom, hand-decorated cakes for weddings, birthdays, and other events, a cake business could build a reputation for making life’s moments sweeter.

17. Virtual Assistant Service

How to start a virtual assistant business

As businesses in Iowa and beyond continue to seek efficient solutions, a virtual assistant service could offer administrative and creative assistance remotely. From managing emails to organizing schedules, virtual assistants could help clients improve productivity and focus on their business growth.


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17 Best Business Ideas in Iowa