The North Central Iowa Alliance recently launched a program aimed at boosting entrepreneurship in the region by offering to pay for up to three years of health insurance for prospective business owners in the area.

The Helping Entrepreneurs Launch Program currently has enough funding to cover the insurance costs for a dozen new business owners a year at $350 a month.

"In North Central Iowa we realize the critical importance of entrepreneurship to the economic health of this area," Curtis Brown, the group's director, said in a statement.

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