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Entrepreneurship Hub: Financial Education Innovation Works Session

On August 29, a group of 15 entrepreneurs and leaders from financial institutions, including Dupaco, DuTrac, and Dubuque Bank & Trust, participated in an Innovation Works session to generate ideas for improving access to financial education and coaching for entrepreneurs in Dubuque County.

The group worked in teams to tackle challenges that included increasing access to financial coaching, engaging coaches, and partnership models for supporting financial coaching & education. Throughout the session, the group generated over 100 ideas and pitched 16 unique solutions. Some of the ideas that stood out include:

Skill Swap - a platform where entrepreneurs can trade time/skills

This concept would be a platform where entrepreneurs could list a skill they are willing to share or a skill they need to access. Entrepreneurs would be matched with others and share their skill and their time to help one another.

Coaching Strategies Ideas generated around this topic included weekly accountability coaching provided by seasoned business owners (e.g. SCORE). Another idea discussed was for DuTrac to create a financial coaching program that would include workshops, 1:1 financial coaching and various events.

Workshop Concepts

Workshops led by experts in their field were also discussed. A few ideas for workshop topics included:

  • How to successfully apply for new business financing – w/Q&A

  • How to successfully apply for funding to expand your business – w/Q&A

  • Tax tips – what’s required, what’s a good idea – w/Q&A

Supporting Hispanic entrepreneurs Ideas for supporting Hispanic entrepreneurs included creating a group to celebrate and support these individuals, having peer-learning and skill-swap opportunities, and partnering with financial institutions to make coaching services available by Spanish-speaking experts.

Anyone can help implement these ideas to create new opportunities for entrepreneurs. The Innovation Lab has seed funding to help your organization launch a new initiative or event. You can use this seed funding to implement one of the ideas above or another idea you have to help entrepreneurs grow.

You can find information about the funding programs here on our website:


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