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About the San Diego & Imperial Small Business Development Center

The San Diego & Imperial Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network is primarily funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration via a cooperative agreement and the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development via grants. Southwestern Community College is the agreement and grant holder for the San Diego & Imperial SBDC Network and provides significant support as well.

The San Diego & Imperial SBDC Network provides a vast array of no- and low- cost support to entrepreneurs and small businesses through our nine locations/sub-contractors:

  • North San Diego SBDC (MiraCosta College) in Carlsbad
  • Imperial Valley SBDC (County of Imperial) in Imperial
  • East County SBDC (East County Economic Development Council) in El Cajon
  • South San Diego SBDC (Southwestern College) in National City
  • Alliance SBDC (Asian Business Association of San Diego with the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce and the San Diego County Imperial Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce) in Kearny Mesa
  • International Rescue Committee SBDC in City Heights
  • The Brink SBDC at the University of San Diego, a specialty SBDC for innovation-based companies
  • Connect SBDC, a specialty SBDC for innovation-based companies
  • Export SBDC at the World Trade Center San Diego, a specialty SBDC for companies expanding to international markets

The SBDC’s top priority is to empower small business creation and growth to achieve job creation and retention, capital investments, and dynamic innovation that improves the quality of life in San Diego and Imperial counties.

From 2016-2021, the San Diego & Imperial SBDC team helped strengthen our regional small businesses.


2020 was an unprecedented year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The San Diego & Imperial SBDC remains here to help small businesses during the pandemic and beyond, as they start up as well as work on growing their businesses. And the SBDC was here for small business when the pandemic struck in addition to ongoing challenges. Here are some highlights from that pivotal year:

  • $103 million in disaster capital due to SBDC assistance

  • 4,400 unique businesses assisted related to COVID-19

  • Shift in March to 100% online assistance, including trainings and one-on-one business advising; plus continuing to offer flexibility and hybrid scenarios

  • Continued success of Connecting with Capital and Meet the Lender series, showcasing the changing lending market

  • Another successful San Diego Angel Conference, helping to foster local angel investment

  • Helping small businesses access over $200 million in government contracts through programs like Meet the Buyers

Host Locations

SBDC locations are hosted by local nonprofits and academic institutions which provide the infrastructure, staffing, resources, and tools necessary to carry out our mission of serving the region’s small business owners.

Our Clients Say

Roanna Canete, Owner of The Gluten Free Baking Company, A Success Story from the San Diego Small Business Development Center Network

“The SBDC’s ongoing support has been nothing short of life-saving! Just a phone call away – they give me the courage to pursue my dreams, knowing there is nothing I can’t do with this incredible team on my side.”

Roanna Canete, Owner, The Gluten Free Baking Company
Farooq Anjum, Co-Founder & CTO of GroGuru Inc.
“The Brink SBDC is providing an invaluable service to entrepreneurs by giving guidance and providing connections to both investors and customers. Events such as the San Diego Angel Conference are the icing on the cake, which spreads the spirit of entrepreneurship in the community by bringing entrepreneurs and new investors together, and resulted in an investment of over $100,000 for our company.”
Farooq Anjum, Co-Founder/CTO, GroGuru Inc
Gayle McEnroe, President of Urethane Masters
“We moved our company to San Diego from Minnesota, and the SBDC gave us instant access to a huge network of contacts that led to obtaining our startup capital and making other crucial connections. Being the “new guy in town” is never easy, but with their help, we hit the ground running”
Gayle McEnroe, President, Urethane Masters
Nahid Razi, Founder/CEO of AccuData

“The Brink SBDC and Dr. Martin Kleckner have been invaluable in the success and progress of AccuDava. They dedicated many hours to reviewing and giving advice on our SBIR grant application to the National Cancer Institute, which was successfully awarded $300,000. Their unconditional support continued with extreme efforts that helped us with a $50,000 NIH I-corps grant, which resulted in additional NCI grant funding of $150,000 to extend our diagnostic test application to non-small cell lung cancer.”

Nahid Razi, Founder/CEO, AccuDava

In The News

Want to know what SBDC clients and teams have been up to? Take a look at these stories about entrepreneurs, partnering organizations, and other business topics featured in San Diego and Imperial counties’ news.


We are grateful to the sponsors who have continued to support SBDC programs and entrepreneurs across San Diego and Imperial counties.