The SBDC center located in Ames and currently serving four counties – Boone, Hardin, Marshall and Story – was one of the first centers established when the SBDC expanded its service statewide in 1982. Since then, the ISU center has provided several thousand Iowa business owners or prospective owners with business assistance in areas such as business and strategic planning, general management, sources of capital, cost control, financial analysis, international trade, accounting, marketing, and much more.
The ISU center's Smart Start Workshop, a business basics class held weekly in Ames, was introduced in 1992. Thousands have participated in the workshop since its inception. The center also sees over 400 clients per year on a one-to-one counseling basis. In 1994, the ISU center became involved in assisting technology-based businesses located at the ISU Research Park.