Even though stock markets are shaky, Iowans are still interested in launching new business ventures while others have money they want to invest in start-ups. A workshop and seminar is planned next week in southeast Iowa to get so-called angel investors in touch with people seeking investors. Yvonne Knapp, chair of the Great River Region Partnership Entrepreneur Task Force, is organizing the events.

Knapp says, "The seminar is called ‘Baking and Business 101: A Recipe for Success,’ and the metaphor really carries through — you need the right ingredients for your business, the right employees, the right marketing, those kinds of things." The free seminar and workshop are Monday and Tuesday in Fort Madison. It’s open to business leaders — from major corporations to start-ups — who want to explore the key elements of developing a successful business.

"We’re not talking about thousands of dollars," Knapp says, "perhaps if you are interested in being an investor for maybe a thousand dollars or something like that. We’re trying to form a venture capitol network in the area, so this is sort of an informational session so we can get people interested in that." She acknowledges that the timing is rather novel, as the common perception is that we’re in the midst of an economic meltdown. Knapp says it’s quite the contrary in southeast Iowa.

Knapp says: "We’ve been impacted of course but maybe not quite as much as some of the others, particularly on the East and West Coast. This is sort of an interesting time to be asking about investing but we certainly hope people will consider it, especially since they’re supporting local businesses, for the most part." The workshop is Monday from 6 to 8 P.M. at the Fort Madison Comfort Inn and Suites. The seminar runs there from 8:30 AM to 3:30 P.M. on Tuesday. Learn more at the Renew Rural Iowa website .