small businesses

Local Entrepreneurs Pay it Forward, Help Black-Owned Small Businesses Thrive

Founders First CDC is offering a virtual workshop that includes coaching lessons to help Black small business owners succeed

NBC Universal, Inc.

A local non-profit organization comprised of successful entrepreneurs is paying it forward by helping dreams come true for small business owners.

Founders First CDC, which is dedicated to helping small business owners from underrepresented backgrounds, received a $500,000 grant and is using those funds to offer a virtual workshop with coaching sessions to help Black small business owners succeed and grow. The program also teaches 5th graders at Monarch School about what it takes to start and grow a business.

“The phases these companies will go through will be to present their growth plans, how they’re going to promote their business and inspire this next generation of business owners as well,” said Kim Folsom, CEO of Founders First CDC.

There are several programs offered to benefit diverse groups, such as women, minorities, veterans, and the LGBTQ community, to teach them the skills needed to grow their business. A new service that the organization rolled out is called the San Diego Clydesdale Community Leaders Program.

One local business that’s benefitted from the program is Good Neighbor Gardens.

It was created in 2013 with the intention of making fresh food available to as many people in San Diego as possible. Since its start, the business has grown hyper-local in people’s yards and campuses.

Homeowners who have a little extra room in their yards can request to get a garden installed.

Gardeners with the business tend to the gardens and the homeowner can have as much of the produce as they'd like since they are helping with the effort by providing the space.

Also, people can subscribe online and to receive a package of fresh food that will feed a family of four for two weeks.

“People who have space to install a garden are willing to share that space, not only to feed themselves but to make that food accessible to others because there’s always too much if you’re professionally managing a garden. There’s always more food than you can eat yourself,” said Mia Vaughnes, CEO & Founder of Good Neighbor Gardens.

The extra food is always given to local services to feed those who are food-dependent, like the Jewish Family Service of San Diego.

Contact Us