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New Programs

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.

The mission of the Jacobs Center is to foster a thriving community envisioned and realized by its residents. Economic development is a core facet of this mission. We build networks strategically that support early-stage small businesses through training and mentorships, connections to regional partnerships, and increased access to financial resources.

At the center of this strategy is our Business Accelerator (fka CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center), the region’s first diversity/low-moderate income accelerator. To date, we have served over 63 young businesses since it was launched in May 2019.

The accelerator program provides mentors, free co-working space, and guidance to founders on how to scale their businesses. The Business Resource Center (BRC) links entrepreneurs to local services to move their businesses forward and serves as a gateway to the accelerator program.

Both the Business Accelerator and BRC are located at the Joe & Vi Jacobs Community Center – a three-story, 78,000-sq. ft. business and nonprofit hub in Southeastern San Diego. Featuring resources both on-site and online – including the attention of a philanthropic venture community, public services, events, and workshops per year – most important free resources every entrepreneur needs to launch and grow their businesses.


Did you know that entrepreneurs launching a startup in their 50s are 2x as likely to succeed as someone in their 30s?

Right now, is the perfect time to combine your lived experience and passion to build a profitable business. In our 50+ Entrepreneurs Program we focus on the fundamentals of building your business in a community environment with your peers.

The hands-on program provides participants with weekly workshops from experts, peer-to-peer collaboration, office space for business meetings, and weekly accountability calls to ensure you stay on track.

You will walk away from our 3-month program inspired, confident, and prepared to create the kind of business you envision for yourself. We will help you craft a business model, financial plan, identify resources, and prepare for obtaining capital. You’ve waited long enough, don’t wait another day to get started


Want to create your own path? Have you thought about starting a business when you get older?

Curious about whether entrepreneurship is for you…

Learn the skills you need to be your own boss.

The old rules for a successful career are changing daily and to increase equal access to opportunities the program teaches skills through entrepreneurship. It focuses on basics in business by providing workshops, peer-to-peer learning, and mentorship. Together we examine the students’ life goals and business-focused skills-building strategy to help them develop core competency in problem-solving and execution.

The Youth Entrepreneurship Program is designed to empower youth at every stage of interest:

  • Introduction: Students hear from business owners about their journey and learn basic business concepts and Through peer group work the students create ideas for a business.
  • Enrichment: Students with business ideas create a 1-page business model (Lean Business Model Canvas), start testing business ideas, and get feedback on the next steps from mentors.
  • Experiential: Students evaluate business ideas with mentors and experts to develop a product or service then begin marketing and selling to customers. In the end, they will have a product or service, pitch presentation, business tax certificate, and basic financial model to move forward with the business.

For more information, please contact Alex Waters at


Are you a photographer, writer, musician, designer, or artist that struggles to find the balance of creating your art and making a good living?

Do you want to do your art full-time but don’t know how to bring in revenue?

The Creative Founders – Business Model Revamp is a 12-week program for artists to teach them fundamentals of running an arts-based business. We focus on artists from traditionally marginalized communities and deliver an intensive business bootcamp program with follow-up services after the program concludes.

Through our business accelerator we’ve helped founders in the arts, nonprofits, and businesses bring their unique vision to life. Taken from the learnings of our business accelerator, the program helps artists deconstruct their existing business model and structure a new pathway to sustainability. The program offers expert support in financial management, fundraising (government grant writing), public/media relations, and marketing – all while using the business accelerator space to grow the business and connect with other creative founders.

For more information, please contact Alex Waters at