The city of San Bernardino, in partnership with California State University, San Bernardino’s Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE), last week unveiled a significant step forward in the city’s economic revitalization with the launch of the Entrepreneurial Resource Center (ERC). The grand opening of the ERC at Studio D, a new co-working and business hub, signified a collaborative endeavor to provide business owners and entrepreneurs with essential support and resources.
Councilman Ben Reynoso, who played a pivotal role in realizing the ERC in downtown San Bernardino, spoke about the center’s importance, especially for the community’s underserved members. “With vendors and day laborers in mind, I wanted to ensure that the most disenfranchised in our community had a space to access the resources, education, and information they need,” Reynoso said, emphasizing the inclusive vision for the city’s economic growth.
Following Reynoso’s heartfelt remarks, Councilmember Kimberly Calvin took the stage to emphasize the real-time impact of the ERC. “It’s heartening to witness entrepreneurs from our community here to showcase their innovations. Take, for instance, the gentleman who delighted us with his story of starting a barbecue business,” Calvin noted. “The community’s support for his venture, giving him a platform to prosper, embodies what we’re building here in San Bernardino.”
Mayor Helen Tran continued the sentiment, focusing on the joint efforts and the promising future the ERC embodies. “Today marks the beginning of a promising journey,” Mayor Tran declared. “The Cal State San Bernardino Entrepreneur Resource Center represents a beacon of our collective dedication to fostering creativity and providing a supportive environment for the city’s visionaries and achievers.”
Cal State San Bernardino President Tomas Morales also expressed the university’s dedication to contributing to the city’s economic development and the education of its entrepreneurs. “As a university, we are an anchor institution in this region,” President Morales stated. “Our cybersecurity program and the Entrepreneurship Resource Center are just initial steps in a broader strategy to engage and uplift our community through entrepreneurship.”
Mike Stull, professor of entrepreneurship and director of the IECE and the CSUSB School of Entrepreneurship, highlighted the center’s mission to expand access to entrepreneurial tools and bolster the longevity of local businesses.
Since its inception in 1999, the IECE has played a vital role in the region’s entrepreneurial community, providing extensive business counseling, mentoring, and trailblazing training programs that have significantly contributed to job creation and retention, with an impressive economic impact of $534 million.
The ERC is a fruit of the collective efforts between the city and the university as part of the Aspen Institute Latinos & Society Program’s City Action Lab, symbolizing San Bernardino’s pledge to foster inclusive economic progress.
With the doors of the ERC now open, San Bernardino sends a clear message: it is not just welcoming businesses; it is dedicated to nurturing the next wave of entrepreneurs poised to steer the city toward a prosperous future.
For more information on the IECE and its programs, click here.