Mission

Advancing a more entrepreneurial, competitive, and economically vibrant Nebraska through sound policy, advocacy, partnership and mentorship.

Our Origin
The Heartland Independent Business Association grew out of the bold vision of community leaders from across Nebraska who saw the need for an independent, nonpartisan, public policy-focused entity that would work to support small business owners and entrepreneurs in our state.

Leading Nebraska’s small business and start-up efforts
HIBA is a leader in coordinating all efforts focusing on small business development and growth. We work to increase venture capital investments in Nebraska-born and owned companies. We leverage entrepreneurial programs and collect data to benchmark and grow Nebraska’s start-up ecosystem. Working with public and private entities, we promote networking to advance ideas and capitalize on venture capital. Our mentorship and growth services form a network of successful business owners, entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts.

Target Start-ups in High-value Industries
Nebraska has many industries that offer new growth opportunities to provide high-quality, high-paying jobs. Nebraska’s position is unique for growing in sports technology, medicine, insurance, finance, manufacturing, transportation, natural resources, and ag tech. As these industries grow, HIBA help existing businesses within these areas to modernize.

Cultivate the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
Creating new businesses and investing in the growth of Nebraska are imperative to the long-term vitality of the state. Our mentorship program helps turn ideas into realities. Current startup resources may include:

  • Accelerators
  • nMotion
  • Nebraska Tech
  • Collaborative
  • Nebraska Business Development Center
  • SourceLink Nebraska
  • Angel investors
  • Invest Nebraska

HIBA is the go-to organization to coordinate all resources in one place. In collaboration with our universities and community colleges, we help businesses leverage these resources and the programming they provide. We offer programs to support early-stage development and ensure those businesses continue to thrive. Part of our education platform includes business boot camp. HIBA’s success is measured by tracking:

  • Success of New Business
  • Population Growth trendlines
  • College Graduates: those that stay in Nebraska
  • Small Business Vitality: Nebraska’s national ranking

In 5 years, we expect Nebraska to reach the top five in the nation for entrepreneurship.

Why Our Work Matters   

We help small businesses succeed and grow by providing them with the resources, tools, and connections they need to compete in a challenging business environment. By doing this, we are  a trusted partner and an advocate for our members as we help drive economic growth and development across Nebraska.

We support small businesses and entrepreneurs through our first mission, public policy. In addition, we offer: 

  • Education
  • Networking  
  • Focus on our state’s rural and urban geographical areas in our state


Public Policy

The phrase “public policy” is shorthand for the system of laws, regulations, actions (or inactions), and funding priorities of our governing institutions. Public policy affects almost every aspect of our lives — where we live, where we learn, where we work, and where we wander.

HIBA works to improve public policy through listening, meeting, and engaging with: 

  • Small business owner 
  • New start-up
  • College graduate and
  • Statewide constituency 


But, you’ll find us on the steps of the Capitol, city hall, and municipalities, meeting with officials and collaborating for better policy that won’t stand in the way of your success.