State Policies

Iowa State Policies & Resources


Iowa VR and Iowa Department for the Blind (IDB) Policy Summary on Self-Employment:

The purpose of the IVRS Self-Employment Program is to assist individuals to achieve their employment outcome at an optimal level of self-sufficiency consistent with the individual’s abilities, preferences, and needs. Self-employment is a vocational option available only to for-profit businesses intended for operation within the State of Iowa. IVRS provides information, strategies, and resources to help the business become self-sustaining (making enough money so there is no ongoing need for unplanned cash injections from external funding sources to stay in business), while assisting the individual in assuring all necessary supports are in place for long-term success. 

The IVRS Self-Employment Program (ISE) is comprised of two individualized choices: Micro-Enterprise Development and the Full Self-Employment Program. 

  1. Micro-Enterprise Development: is a service provided by the IVRS counselor where the job candidate is a business owner and/or independent contractor, and:
    1. Is working for themselves, but delivering a service to other businesses and customers;
    2. The job candidate can demonstrate the relationship with customers through a contract and/or generated or anticipated income to demonstrate financial feasibility of the business;
    3. The parameters of such a business venture requires no more than $1500 in Financial Assistance and $1500 in Technical Assistance;
    4. The business does not require any financial match to obtain the $1500 in Financial or Technical assistance;
  2. Full Self-Employment Program: is a business operated by the job candidate in which the individual performs, manages, or subcontracts the major part of the product or service to be produced. It is recommended that the eligible individual own at least 51% of the business. The business may include sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, or limited liability companies.  Depending on the business plan needs, financial assistance and technical assistance can be issued for specific business needs up to $10,000 for each category, and are matched dollar for dollar by the client.

Iowa VR and IDB adhere to the same self-employment policy, and IDB typically refers to Iowa VR for participation in the Iowa Self-Employment (ISE) program.

Policy Link:




The following downloadable PDF contains statewide self-employment resources and links for people with disabilities.

Iowa Self-Employment Resources (PDF)

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