Making Entrepreneurship Easier: Local Resources for SA’s Small Businesses
May 5, 2019 - San Antonio
Article By: Dr. Joseph Lopez - Contributing Writer, SA Sentinel
San Antonio is known for having a strong small business presence. As an entrepreneur in San Antonio myself, I have had the opportunity to learn about the many nonprofits and government organizations who help promote small businesses around the city. This article highlights these nonprofits and the services they offer.
Whether you are a new or seasoned small business owner or entrepreneur, it’s always great to know about the evolving landscape of small business growth resources in the greater San Antonio area. Throughout the years, I have had the opportunity to attend many events, workshops, and even work firsthand with many of these organizations.
Many of these places provide small business grants, personal mentorship, incubator options, workspaces and advising. Launch SA has become a major networking hub for collaboration, events, workshops. They host a weekly event called “One Million Cups,” an event where an entrepreneur/business has 6 minutes to pitch their idea and then receive 20 minutes of feedback from an audience of entrepreneurs, business people and investors.
With all of these available options for local entrepreneurs, I decided to put together this comprehensive list of small business assistance groups. Feel free to browse the various choices, contact them, and decide for yourself which one would best help you grow your enterprise.
Bexar County Small Business & Entrepreneurship Department
Address: 400 S Main Ave, San Antonio, TX 78204
Mission Statement: The County’s Department of Small Business and Entrepreneurship Department (SBED) embodies the strong partnership between economic development and entrepreneurship. The SB&E Department, which is charged with the responsibility of administrating the Small, Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise (SMWVBE) Program, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program and coordination for US DOT Title VI Regulations as applied to Bexar County’s Federal Highway (FHWA) funded projects, seeks to establish innovative programs that involve new or existing businesses and provide monitoring and compliance.
Special Programs: SMWBE, SMWVBO Conference, African-American Business Enterprise Initiative
Address: 600 Soledad St, San Antonio, TX 78205
Mission Statement: Through a partnership with LiftFund and the San Antonio Economic Development Department, we provide a space where those with an idea or a full-fledged business can access specialty programming, workshops, tailored support, and resources.
Special Programs: Venture Challange, Mentor Round, ImpulSA \ Spainish Program, San Antonio Small Business Week, Preguntas Al Aire, Social Innovation Lab, Pitch Tab, San Antonio Entrepreneurship Week, Breakfast and Launch, 1 Million Cups
San Antonio For Growth on the Eastside (SAGE)
Address: 220 Chestnut St, San Antonio, TX 78202
Mission Statement: SAGE champions investment that improves the quality of life for individuals, families, neighborhoods and businesses on San Antonio’s Eastside.
Special Programs: Store-Front Grant, Sage Equity Fund, Grow Eastside Fund, Choice Facade Improvement Grant.
South-West Texas Border - Small Business Development Center Network
Address: 501 W Cesar E. Chavez Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78207
Mission Statement: Since 1987, UTSA SBDC has given back to the business community and helped to shape the economic future of entrepreneurs by facilitating the creation, expansion and retention of businesses through no cost, one-on-one business advising and workshops. We assist with obtaining access to capital, and referrals to other valuable resources for prospective and existing business owners.
Special Programs: Advising Services (All aspects of Business), Classroom Training, Online Training, Rural Training
Westside Development Corporation
Address: 630 SW 41st St, San Antonio, TX 78237
Mission Statement: The mission of the Westside Development Corporation (WDC) is to foster economic development, promote the development and redevelopment of real estate within its target area, create viable urban communities, and preserve the character, culture and history of the Westside.
Special Programs: Westside Education and Training Center, Legacy Small Business, Opportunity Zones, Financial Services, Incubation, Business Plan Assistance
Events/Workshops: Yearly Gala, Earth Day Event
Walk-in/Appointment Service: Yes
City of San Antonio: Small Business Office Home
Address: 100 West Houston Street, 19th Floor, San Antonio, TX 78205
Mission Statement: The Small Business Division leads the City's efforts to grow and develop small businesses. Local, Small, minority and women-owned businesses are vital to San Antonio's economic health, to general business expansion and to the community at large. Nevertheless at certain stages of development, these businesses need the support of a knowledgeable team.
Special Programs: Small Business Liaison, SBEDA Program, Business Empowerment Program (Mentoring and Bonding Assistance Programs), Launch SA
Events/Workshops: *NOTE See Launch SA
Address: 2007 W Martin St, San Antonio, TX 78207
Non-Profit Mission Statement: To provide credit and services to small businesses and entrepreneurs who do not have access to loans from commercial sources and to provide leadership and innovation to the microlending industry.
Special Programs: Women’s Business Center, Incubators, LaunchSA, SBA 504 Program
Events/Workshops: Monthly workshops offered through special programs
Maestro Entrepreneur Center
Address: 1811 S Laredo St, San Antonio, TX 78207
Mission Statement: To foster Entrepreneurship and provide a platform where learning and collaboration happens.
Special Programs: Maestro’s Accelerator Program, Maestro’s Culinary Accelerator Program, Maestro’s Phenomenal Women in Leadership Series, Maestro’s Young Entrepreneurship, Maestro’s Business Series, Maestro’s Book Club, Maestro’s Entrepreneurship Cohort Program
Walk-in/Appointment Service: Yes
United States Small Business Administration - San Antonio District Office
Address: Hipolito F. Garcia Federal Building and United States Courthouse, 615 E Houston St #298, San Antonio, TX 78205
Mission Statement: The U.S. Small Business Administration helps Americans start, build, and grow businesses.
Special Programs: Online Resources, Funding Programs, Federal Contracting, Online Learning Center, Local Assistance
Events/Workshops: Bi-Monthly Events/Workshops
SouthsideFirst Economic Development Council
Address: 3315 Sidney Brooks, Ste. 200
Mission Statement: Southside First Economic Development Council is an initiative launched by the South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Foundation to be the voice of economic prosperity, community bridging and responsible development for the Southside (South San Antonio/South Bexar County). The 15-member board reflects a cross-section of community members, businesses and Southside institutions. Its primary role is to be a convener and to assist in facilitating programs, services or partnerships that move forward the Council’s goals of investment, engagement and accountability.
Special Programs: Comprehensive investment programming
Events/Workshops: Economic Exchange Luncheon, EchaleGas! Small Business Workshops
Walk-In/Appointment Service: Yes