Eight Small Businesses Graduate from LIFEDE's North County Small Business Accelerator Program

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The LIFT Development Enterprises program helps catapult underserved companies into their next stage of growth by giving them the tools and mentorship to scale their businesses.

Businesses join this program to learn how to improve their operations and product offerings, hire key team members, and grow their businesses.

LIFT Development Enterprises, Inc. (LIFTDE), a not-for-profit small business accelerator, celebrates the completion of its 15th cohort with the North County San Diego group of companies who just graduated from a 60-day small business growth program called the “Elevate My Business Challenge.”

Businesses that participated in the accelerated educational curriculum received coaching by a group of seasoned experts committed to the growth of these service-based, revenue-generating companies. As part of their completion of the program, businesses competed for up to $5000 in cash and prizes through a Shark Tank-like event where they pitched their company’s story to a group of investors.

LIFTDE’s mission is to assist underserved women, minority, and veteran-led revenue generating, service-based small businesses with tools, resources, access to growth capital, and coaching through the “Elevate My Business Challenge Program.”

“Most folks truly underestimate the true potential impact these small business owners have their local communities. All of them leverage personal savings to start their business,” said Kim Folsom, co-founder of Founders First Capital Partners and LIFTDE. “Businesses join this program to learn how to improve their operations and product offerings, hire key team members, and grow their businesses.”

Small businesses are the nation’s lifeblood and largest employers. However, most resources are targeted to start-up, tech, or established businesses above $1 million in annual revenues. LIFTDE is focused on helping those owners with revenue between $50,000 and $250,000 get to the next level and become leaders in their communities by creating quality jobs.

“Empowering business owners benefits both the business owner and the area in which they operate. Teaching them how to apply these new business development concepts will help them prosper and grow our region’s overall economy,” said W. Erik Bruvold, economist and CEO of the San Diego North Economic Development Council. “Small businesses are always looking for a way to get to that next level. That is why we are so happy to partner with The Elevate My Business Challenge as it helps these engines of prosperity achieve their next level and drive North County forward.”

LIFTDE partners with the National University Extended Learning program and Founders First Capital to leverage their online curriculum platform and programs, which provides small businesses with unique tools, expertise and access to capital to grow their businesses, create and maintain jobs and help grow the economy. Participating members must complete an online application where it is reviewed to confirm participants meet revenue requirements.

“National University’s Extended Learning business unit is pleased to support the LIFTDE Development programs, which aligns with our mission of providing students of all backgrounds with access to lifelong learning opportunities” said Dr. Michael Cunningham, Chancellor of the private, nonprofit National University System, which is headquartered in San Diego. “This partnership emphasizes our shared focus on supporting our communities and strengthening our nation’s economy through ongoing, market-relevant education.”

North County San Diego Pitch and Graduation Day was held on June 25, 2019 at the AMN Healthcare Auditorium. To learn more information about the event, program, workshops and upcoming programs visit https://liftde.org/challenge/

Partners: National University Extended Studies, TriNet, Accion, and North County San Diego Economic Development Council

Sponsors: City National Bank, Pacific Western, Parker Foundation, USBank, Union Bank, and Wells Fargo


LIFTDE is a non-profit small business accelerator whose mission is to provide funding, support, and tools to help undeserved small business owners grow their businesses and their communities’ employment base.

Contact Info:
Mike Jacobson
415- 271-4562
website: https://liftde.org

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