San Bernardino County, a region that has fostered such diverse brands as GIS mapping leader Esri, animatronics designer Garner Holt Productions, flashlight innovator Maglite, as well as fast food brands McDonald’s and Del Taco, will celebrate entrepreneurs countywide this November.
Since 2018 the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors has proclaimed the month of November as Entrepreneurship Month and November 20 as Entrepreneur’s Day. The proclamation recognizes that the County is home to countless start-ups and Fortune 500 firms. To that end, San Bernardino County will promote entrepreneurs as well as bring awareness to the initiatives and programs that help local startups and small businesses to grow and thrive.
“San Bernardino County is a region full of opportunity. We remain an affordable location to live and invest, when compared to Southern California’s coastal regions. Our supporting and collaborative education partners and regional agencies make San Bernardino County a strong choice for entrepreneurs,” said San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chairman and Fourth District Supervisor Curt Hagman.
Supporting entrepreneurship exemplifies how County Government guides itself by the four pillars of its organizational culture – value, innovation, service and vision.
“Making San Bernardino County a place where these four principles come together is foundational to the Board of Supervisors’ efforts to create a community where residents and investors can prosper and achieve well-being,” said County Chief Executive Officer Leonard X. Hernandez.
Here’s just some of what makes San Bernardino County a strong region for startups:
According to Startup Genome’s Global Startup Ecosystem Report, San Bernardino County is a recognized and growing startup hub. One area of business strength cited in the report is advanced manufacturing and robotics. To support workforce and business development, Startup Genome made note of the County’s innovative education infrastructure.
In 2020, California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) launched the School of Entrepreneurship, the first of its kind in California and one of less than 15 existing worldwide, adding to the university’s highly successful entrepreneurship program. The School of Entrepreneurship places CSUSB as a leading entity in the growing field of entrepreneurship education.
In addition, the San Bernardino Community College District was awarded $37 million in the state’s fiscal 2021-22 spending plan. The award is being used in part to build a modern workforce training center at San Bernardino Valley College that will be a hub for students pursuing careers in water management, heavy truck technology, and machining, among other fields.
There are many areas of success for startups in San Bernardino County. For example, the region is home to a growing electric transportation infrastructure, featuring young firms such as electric charging station manufacturer KIGT, as reported during the county’s recent State of the County and Regional Business Summit.
To help small businesses to grow, San Bernardino County’s economic development team provides a number of important programs and initiatives that include site selection assistance, business plan development, permitting assistance, workforce assistance as well as demographic and market reports. The County’s Economic Development Department works in concert with many regional agencies and centers that target business development including the Women’s Business Center (WBC) program that promotes the growth of women-owned businesses through mentoring, business training, and business counseling services; the Inland Empire Small Business Development Center (IESBDC) that provide assistance and connects small businesses to resources in order to succeed; and the CDC Small Business Finance Corporation which helps entrepreneurs by advocating for and providing access to affordable and responsible capital.