CSUMB’s iiED receives $50,000 award to promote entrepreneurship in South County

CSUMB’s Institute for Innovation and Economic Development (iiED) has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco 2023 AHEAD program. 

The iiED’s proposal is specifically targeted at potential entrepreneurs from underserved and isolated communities in South Monterey County and along the Central Coast, to bridge the gap between budding entrepreneurs and the essential resources they need to thrive.

In 2019, iiED identified the pressing need for a regional support system to nurture and grow entrepreneurial ideas, especially among women and minorities, and deliver support in product development, market validation, marketing strategies, financial planning, funding strategies, legal issue navigation for startups, and comprehensive business and technical assistance.

Communities such as Gonzales, Greenfield, King City and Soledad, which traditionally lack access to such technical assistance, will be the primary beneficiaries of this initiative. The iiED has previously worked with similarly isolated entrepreneurial communities, collaborating with partners such as El Pajaro CDC, the Kitchen Incubator and other key organizations in Seaside, Marina and Salinas.

The iiED application for the award was sponsored by Pinnacle Bank of Salinas.

“We are immensely grateful to the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco and Pinnacle Bank for recognizing the potential and significance of our project,” said Jenny Kuan, iiED’s interim executive director. “This award is a testament to our vision of extending our educational mission to entrepreneurs throughout Monterey County, especially in the South County region.”

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