Clydesdale Program Supporting San Diego Black-Owned Businesses

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Founders First CDC and Pacific Western Bank, with support from other community and bank contributors, has launched the San Diego Clydesdale Community Leaders Program. The program helps to grow black-owned businesses in San Diego. 

The program includes a 24 month intensive transformational growth program and access to new minority small business contracts averaging $75,000 per year with corporations and government organizations to help support growth. In addition, chosen companies will have access to flexible revenue-based business growth loans of $10,000 to $25,000. The four phase program kicks off with a 60-day workshop curriculum taught virtually with small groups and individual coaching sessions. 

Participants in the San Diego Clydesdale Community Leaders Program will also have the opportunity to give back by inspiring local elementary students about concepts related to job creation. The San Diego Clydesdale Community Leaders Program has partnered with Monarch School and Rhymes with Reason for a youth entrepreneur exploration program for diverse students in 5th grade elementary school students and their families. During the free three month program, students complete language enrichment programs Rhymes with Reason and Goal Setter to help them gain early awareness of concepts and vocabulary related to the activities of local small businesses impacting their community. 

For the inaugural program, Founders First CDC has partnered with Mr. Charles Mohammad’s 5th grade class at Monarch Elementary School. Mr. Mohammad shares, “Rhymes with Reason is already a powerful learning tool that my students enjoy using. Infusing an entrepreneurial aspect into the platform adds more muscle to the program. The benefits my students will gain from their learning experience will absolutely change the trajectory of their life’s circumstances.”

Rhymes with Reason is a platform that drives literacy powered by students’ favorite music. Austin Martin, the founder and CEO of Rhymes with Reason, says “I am so excited to partner with Founders First CDC’s Clydesdale Program to provide a culturally relevant introduction to the world of business, entrepreneurship and ultimately wealth building for students from marginalized backgrounds. I am even more excited about the fact that we are availing this program to 5th graders. Regardless of what standardized test scores and media narrative say, our young people are capable and brilliant; but largely lack exposure, lack tools that are designed with them in mind, and aren’t challenged enough by what they are learning. RWR & FFCDC Clydesdale’s collaboration changes this in a boldly intentional way.” 

Interested Black small business owners can apply at:

Michelle Stansbury is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer. Feel free to reach out to her at [email protected] with story ideas!

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