Three-Year Grant to Foster Business Innovation in Areas Historically Underserved

| SAN DIEGO (Oct. 31, 2022) – The U.S. Economic Development Administration has awarded a three-year, $1.5 million grant to area small business support programs to help innovative small businesses which have not had access historically.

What is EDA?

The EDA is a bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the grant dollars are fostering the growth and scaling of innovative businesses primarily within communities that historically have not had angel and venture capital investment opportunities made more accessible.

Grant Benefits

“This grant award will expand training and advising programs for these innovative companies which deserve the resources of our network,” said Daniel Fitzgerald from the Center for Business Advancement at Southwestern College’s Higher Education Center — which spearheads work with the University of San Diego and Connect small business support programs as well. “With these dollars we can all provide more robust, on-point services to enable getting funding for these inspiring, capable, and creative small businesses.

Where Can We Use the Funding?

The funding will be used to train and provide one-on-one business advising support at no cost for these entrepreneurs and small business owners through Southwestern, USD, and Connect’s efforts throughout the region. “We’re thrilled by the added bolstering of programs so that we can level up our approaches and dive deeper into these communities in ways that make sense,” said Mike Krenn, CEO of Connect. “San Diego and beyond will feel the positive repercussions of this local yet powerful investment.”

We’re Here to Help

Visit to access an area business advisor or call (619) 482-6391 if needed. The website also has other information available such as no-cost or discounted business resources and tools as well as live and on-demand training, plus services in a variety of languages.

“Southwestern Community College is doing incredible work in our region, helping women, veterans, and BIPOC entrepreneurs access funding to start and grow their businesses and create new jobs,” said Congresswoman Sara Jacobs. “This $1.5 million in new federal funding will support their Village to Venture: EDA Build to Scale Venture Challenge project in partnership with the University of San Diego and the Connect Foundation, strengthening our region as a leader in entrepreneurship and innovation.”