Cal State Los Angeles announced Monday that a $1 million grant from Wells Fargo will support the launch of a student entrepreneurship program that aims to help communities recover following the pandemic.

The award was part of $3.6 million in Open for Business Fund grants that Wells Fargo has awarded to organizations to provide multicultural and multilingual technical assistance, strategies and resources to help Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) women small business owners adapt and sustain economic recovery, including in the tech and entertainment industries.

Cal State LA partnered with Community Health Councils and the Los Angeles Small Business Development Center to launch the Leading for Equity in Entrepreneurship Accelerator and Fellowship program.

The program supports students who want to learn more about entrepreneurship and help communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Cal State LA students will have the opportunity to serve as fellows while taking part in intensive training, working alongside entrepreneurs and positioning themselves and communities to innovate and thrive in a post-pandemic world.

“COVID-19 has had devastating impacts on small business owners, especially women entrepreneurs from the many communities of color. Cal State LA, along with strong community partners, is seeking to help such entrepreneurs recover and grow,” said CSULA professor Marla A. Parker, co-director of the LEEAF program.

“The LEEAF program offers Cal State LA students a unique paid opportunity to develop their own entrepreneurial skills and plans, while helping existing BIPOC women business owners thrive — all leading to a more diverse, equitable, and just economic landscape,” she said.

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