LISC San Diego in partnership with the San Diego Refugee Communities Coalition (SDRCC) has received $1,000,000 from the State of California for the Social Entrepreneurs for Economic Development (SEED) Initiative with the purpose of supporting individuals with limited English language proficiency and significant employment barriers.
The goal of this funding is to provide training to individuals in the refugee and immigrant communities in San Diego County and to award micro-grants to individuals who complete the entrepreneurial training which is aimed at assisting in starting or maintaining a small business that addresses a social issue or community need. As part of this grant, we will be developing and implementing the entrepreneurial training, performing community outreach, selecting awardees for the micro-grants and providing technical assistance to micro-grantees.
The Altman Clinical and Translational Research Center and Nash & Associates will be supporting the initiative through data collection, analysis, and evaluation in addition to overseeing training curriculum development. The trainings will be conducted through a train the trainer model with the identified Business Development Coaches who will then deliver the training to each of the ECBO staff. Those staff members will deliver the SEED curriculum to entrepreneurs from their respective communities.
SDRCC members who are taking part in this program are listed below:
- Haitian Bridge Alliance
- License to Freedom
- Somali Bantu Community Center of San Diego
- South Sudanese Community Center
- Refugee Assistance Center
- Horn of Africa
- Karen Organization of San Diego
- United Women of East Africa Support Team
SDRCC members represent communities with many diverse ethnic backgrounds, as such, the program will include 8-10 simultaneous cohorts in the following languages: Amharic, Arabic, Burmese, English, Haitian Creole, Karen, Nuer, Somali, Swahili, and Tigrinya. The trainings will take place over the course of ten weeks in two-hour weekly sessions which will be facilitated by each of the organizations. By the end of the program, entrepreneurs who complete the SEED training are eligible to apply for the micro-grants, ranging from $2,500 to $7,500.