Industry Clusters

Iowa Offers Diverse Business Opportunities

Innovators and entrepreneurs also plaster the Iowa landscape. More than 97 percent of the companies in Iowa are categorized as small- or mid-sized businesses. These businesses account for more than half the state’s private-sector workforce.

While often stereotyped as an “ag state,” in reality, Iowa has built upon its agronomic ecosystem to create a diverse business environment and robust, global economy. Eight core industry segments are more dominant than agriculture in terms of contributions to the state’s GDP, employment, or a combination of both.


Iowa has made advanced manufacturing success a priority…and it’s worked. Home to some 4,000 manufacturers, operating more than 6,600 factories and employing 200,000 workers, the industry generates more than one-sixth of Iowa’s total gross domestic product (GDP).

Iowa’s growth in biosciences, another target sector, outpaced the national average by 53 percent during the past decade. Today, roughly 525 Iowa bioscience entities employ nearly eight percent of the total U.S. agricultural feedstock and chemical manufacturing workforce.



Iowa ranks among the top five states for the percentage of state gross domestic product contributed by insurance and financial service companies.


Think the future is in renewable energy sources? Think Iowa. Iowa is first in the nation in ethanol production, second in wind generation output and second in biodiesel production capacity.

Iowa is home to 32 of the 100 largest food manufacturers and processors, annually producing more nearly $650 billion worth of food products. That’s one-tenth of the nation’s entire food supply.

Is your business driven by innovation or information technology? Three Iowa metropolitan markets all have been named Top 10 cities for data center locations, and the technology industry employs more than 76,000 workers and accounts for $10.6 billion of the state’s GDP.