Institute for International Business (IIB) 

The Institute for International Business (IIB) is a partnership between the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center and the Tippie College of Business. IIB is dedicated to advancing knowledge and international skills in business and educational communities.  In addition, IIB works to promote entrepreneurship as a tool to empower people in developing countries and frontier markets while also providing Iowa students with cross-cultural and international business skills.  In so doing, IIB is strengthening links between the University of Iowa, Iowa communities and the world.

IMG_Mandela Washington Fellows

Mandela Washington Fellowship Program

The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) provides members with invaluable opportunities to connect with other leaders in their community and to learn from experts in their field. The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, started in 2014, and is the flagship YALI program that empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking. The Fellows have established records of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations, institutions, communities, and countries.

For the fifth year, the Institute for International Business is welcoming 25 Mandela Washington Fellows from Sub-Saharan African countries to the University of Iowa to partake in the 2020 program.

The UI Mandela Washington Fellowship program is run by the Institute for International Business, a partnership between Tippie College of Business and the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Iowa.

Learn more about the 2019 program

Business Consulting

International business consulting services are provided by teams of 3-5 University of Iowa students and are under the guidance of a faculty advisor with extensive business experience. The curriculum is designed for maximum performance for the client, and throughout the semester, teams provide clients with weekly progress reports and appraisals and will then complete a full report of the objectives, findings and recommendations. 

Find out more

Training Programs

The IIB offers online CGBP exam prep. The Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) credential is administered by the National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators (NASBITE). Enrollment is on-going. Sign up today to get your certification!

Opportunities for UI students

  • Travel abroad: Experience another culture. Annually, Iowa JPEC and IIB partner to host trips abroad during breaks in the academic year. These opportunities are available through the International Entrepreneurship and Culture course.

  • Student consulting projects: Take on applied projects for local Iowa companies that are looking to expand globally or companies abroad. This can be done through the Business Consulting course.

Iowa International Business Internship Program (IIBIP)

The Iowa International Business Internship Program offers Iowa companies an opportunity to benefit from student interns from the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business. Interns conduct meaningful international market scoping analysis and research. The IIBIP is responsible for recruiting, hiring, and providing financial compensation to student interns. However, we require that selected companies be committed to mentoring student interns and providing them with the required professional supervision to be successful within their position. The internship program is envisioned as an experiential learning process for the interns, as well as a positive business growth endeavor for Iowa companies. Some of the research that interns can conduct include risk analysis, business intelligence research, SWOT analysis, market research, and cross-cultural competencies/analysis.

For further questions please contact the IIBIP Coordinator at

Venture School International

The Institute for International Business Venture School program is designed to train and empower entrepreneurs by focusing on the critical success factors involved in early stage company development.  By using the Business Model Canvas as a focal point for creating value through customer discovery, the International Venture School program utilizes the guidance of established U.S. entrepreneurs and University of Iowa Venture School faculty while nurturing the development of mentor relationships within the local community.  This combination of resources, expertise, and feedback is instrumental in the development of next generation innovators.  Established American entrepreneurs are often the biggest champions for turning ideas into validated opportunities, and we aim to foster this same atmosphere in our programs abroad.   

B.E.L Initiative

In summer 2019 IIB welcomed its first cohort of Haitian entrepreneurs to the University of Iowa as a part of the B.E.L. Initiative. The B.E.L. Initiative is planned in partnership with the American Chamber of Commerce in Haiti, the IIB, and the Georgia Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce, Inc. (GAHCCI). It is an accelerator program providing business development curriculum, mentorship, and networking opportunities for its Fellows with the goal of transforming the economic landscape of Haiti. During their stay, the Fellows participate in Venture School, cultural excursions, company visits, and networking events, with the main educational themes being business development, international trade, and agribusiness. The program for 2020 has been expanded to include more Fellows thanks to a grant from the US Embassy in Port-au-Prince.


Hosted in partnership with the Iowa City Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the IIB holds quarterly “International Trade 101” lunch and learn sessions during which a key international business topic is discussed. These lectures are open to the general public.

International Entrepreneurship Summit

Every spring, the IIB partners with local and global entrepreneurial organizations to host the International Entrepreneurship Summit. Each year’s summit focuses on international business opportunities for local Iowa businesses and startups. 

Additional international services and resources

  • Export readiness assessment
  • Overall trade compliance and documentation
  • Foreign market opportunity assessment
  • Trade mission preparation
  • International business diplomacy (foreign partners and clients negotiations preparation, dealing with foreign governments)
  • International business development
  • Trade financing
  • International logistics issues
  • International business risks analysis
  • International banking and insurances
  • International business plans
  • Cross-cultural issues
  • Building strategies for different foreign markets

Next Steps

If you are interested in finding out more about the Institute for International Business, applying to receive consulting services, and/or looking to sponsor the IIB, please contact us. Your support will help provide resources for program development, promotion, student support, faculty development, and research in the area of International Business Studies.

Contact us  Donate to the IIB