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Businesses Launch with new local program

As the Imperial Valley Small Business Development Center (IVSBDC) undergoes a transition that houses them under the County of Imperial, 11 community members were celebrated as the first graduating class of the Business Launch Academy Program at the Imperial County Board of Supervisors’ board room in El Centro Wednesday, April 27.

IVSBDC Director Jaysel Mendoza said the new program came about through the California Dream Fund, where all SBDC’s were selected to act as grant administrators for the program. IVSBDC launched two programs through this funding — the Business Launch Academy, which is geared toward new businesses, and the Business Financial Fitness program.

One of the requirements for the Business Launch Academy is that the business could not have been launched prior to July 1, 2019.

“It’s all geared towards new,” said Mendoza. “This academy is geared towards everyone who wants to start a business but doesn’t know how to. So, we take them through the whole A-Z process of identifying what their client base is, business plans, marketing plan together, we go through the financial aspect, and we really want to focus on making sure that their business not only launches, but that it becomes successful and it’s viable.”

With the limited amount of funding available currently, Mendoza encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to contact the IVSBDC at (760) 312-9800 or

Aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners presented their 90-second elevator pitch before receiving their certificates of completion of the Business Launch Academy program, including businesses focusing on artisan soaps, home-cooked food, party decorations, and more!


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