The Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship at California State San Bernardino has received a $500,000 grant from the Citi Foundation.
The money will help African-Americans, Native Americans, and people of color start small businesses, according to a statement on the university’s website.
Citi Foundation is a charitable arm of Citigroup, a multinational investment bank and financial services corporation in New York. Earlier this year, the foundation agreed to award grants to minority-owned small businesses that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
“Prior to the pandemic, the number of new black-owned businesses and new Hispanic-owned businesses were growing at a more rapid pace than the overall business growth rate,” said Mike Stull, director of the center for entrepreneurship, in the statement. “The timing of the Citi Foundation award comes as a critical time, as the economy is opening up and businesses are rebuilding and responding to new market opportunities.”
Founded in 1999, the center for entrepreneurship operates the Small Business Development Center, the Women’s Business Centers, and California State Trade Expansion Programs in the Inland Empire. Those programs provide free business counseling, mentoring, and training to existing and aspiring small business owners and entrepreneurs, according to the statement.