Deidre DeJear started her business in 2008 during her senior year at Drake University to help other businesses grow and thrive. It was at the brink of the recession, and Deidre saw a need for better marketing services to support small business. Iowans were out of work and struggling, and as a result, many became entrepreneurs out of necessity. Deidre stepped in to help them market themselves and navigate the filing process through the Secretary of State’s office.
Fast-forward 10 years and Caleo Enterprises has helped over 400 small businesses and non-profits in Iowa. Deidre now pays small businesses to participate in their education programs because she believes small business owners deserve on the job training just like other trades.
Deidre was the Democratic nominee for Iowa Secretary of State in the 2018 election and ran to restore Iowa’s progressive voting laws and fight for fair access to the ballot box. Deidre was the first African American in Iowa to get nominated by a major party, statewide. In the ’90s, Deidre worked on her first campaign for her grandma in Mississippi. Since then, she has been a voting rights advocate in Iowa, working on presidential campaigns and managing local school board races. Deidre has heard every excuse as to why people choose not to vote and believes that Iowans need an invite into the process and are ready for a reason to vote again.
Deidre is continuing the fight for voter access in the private sector and is still championing small business owners through her business, Caleo Enterprises.
Chair Freedom Fund