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Economic Development

Building networks that support early-stage entrepreneurs and accelerate existing neighborhood businesses through training and mentorships, connections to regional partnerships, job opportunities and increased access to financial resources.

We are driving economic activity that attracts and retains businesses and talent to support a more inclusive economy for all residents.

The goal is to foster resident-owned businesses that are connected to and profiting from the region’s prosperity. We do this by partnering with organizations and academic institutions to bring start-up and scale-up opportunities for small businesses and local entrepreneurs, especially young entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color, as well as job opportunities.

We are intentionally drawing and connecting the assets and resources of the region to Diamond businesses, focusing on building pathways for upward mobility within growing industries.

Through partnerships with academic institutions and community organizations, we are creating systemic changes that provide increased opportunities for local residents who have been largely left out of the economic growth and prosperity seen elsewhere in the city.


CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center (CAJC) is the region’s first low to moderate income- and diversity-focused business accelerator program, guiding startups that want to grow rapidly with all the support they need to be successful. A partnership between the City of San Diego, the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation and CONNECT w/ San Diego Venture Group, the program provides participants with mentors, free co-working space and guidance on how to scale their businesses.

CAJC also includes a Business Resource Center, so that all entrepreneurs and small businesses can learn about local services and support to move their ideas and businesses forward. This program is funded in whole or in part with Community Development Block Grant program funds provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the City of San Diego, and private funding from partners, such as MUFG Union Bank N.A. and bkm OfficeWorks.

To learn more or get involved, visit

In May 2021, CAJC virtually hosted the Union Bank Start-Up Pitch Competition, in which 11 of the business accelerator participants competed for three business grants from Union Bank. To view the pitch videos, visit CAJC’S YouTube page.

For job opportunities in the Southeastern San Diego area, please subscribe to Jacobs Center’s newsletter at (bottom of homepage).