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Iowa Business Enterprises Program

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      Home  |  Getting Started in BEP  |  Vending Sites   |  Obtaining BEP Food Services  |  Vendor Resources  |  Active BEP Operators

      Iowa's Premiere Employment Program for Blind Entrepreneurs

      The Business Enterprises Program (BEP) provides opportunities for legally blind Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) clients of the Iowa Department for the Blind to manage their own businesses -- operating vending machines, road side vending sites, or snack bar/catering services. These businesses can be found in federal, state, county, municipal, and private locations throughout Iowa. Interested? Learn more about our employment servicessubmit a referral with your contact information, or contact your VR counselor.

      Through BEP, you'll learn all aspects of the food service business, from ordering merchandise to managing employees. You'll receive equipment, initial stock, and ongoing consultation.

      BEP Overview Video

      History of the Program

      Evolution of Vending and Cafeterias in Iowa

      The Evolution of the Randolph-Shepherd Act

      Rules and Regulations

      Randolph-Sheppard Act
      Text of the federal law that gives blind individuals priority for vending and cafeteria operations in federal facilities.

      Chapter 216D of the Iowa Code
      Iowa law that gives blind individuals priority for vending and cafeterias operations in state facilities.

      Procedure for Use of Set-Aside Funds (Word)

      The Business Enterprise Program reflects the philosophy and mission of the Iowa Department for the Blind by demonstrating a positive belief in the independence and capacity of blind people to be independent entrepreneurs in all aspects of the convenience service industry.

      Business Enterprise Program Contact Information

      For more information about Iowa BEP opportunities and getting started in our training program, contact:
      Matt Nemmers, Business Enterprises Program Administrator
      (515) 313-8516 or