For Immediate Release

Grantmaking will focus on programs that support small businesses, especially those owned by minorities and women

February 23, 2022 – San Diego, CA – The California Southern Small Business Development Corporation, a 501(c)3 public benefit corporation, announced today that it has launched a $500,000 fund with The San Diego Foundation.

“We have been fortunate enough to be financially stable, so we need to give back to the local small business community,” said Juan Carlos Hernandez, President and CEO of the California Southern Small Business Development Corporation. “The best way for us to do it is to rely on someone who’s been doing it historically, successfully for decades, like The San Diego Foundation.”

Known as California Southern, the corporation is dedicated to providing access to capital, such as loans for start-ups or growth, for small businesses, particularly minority- and women-owned ones that cannot qualify for a bank loan without a guarantee. The new fund’s grantmaking will focus on programming, such as internships and workshops, for small businesses located in San Diego County.

“California Southern has made a tremendous difference for local women and minority small business owners and their access to capital to build and grow their economic livelihoods,” said Mark Stuart, President and CEO of The San Diego Foundation. “Our professional staff at The San Diego Foundation looks forward to assisting them in identifying opportunities to contribute to the equity of opportunity for entrepreneurs in our region.”

California Southern will be the first Fiduciary Development Corporation (FDC) out of the seven in California to start this type of grantmaking fund. Hernandez hopes that California Southern’s action will inspire other FDCs throughout the state to do the same in their own communities to help their local small businesses through this phase of recovery and rebuilding. California Southern plans to begin its grantmaking later this year.

“We’re excited to partner with The San Diego Foundation on this new fund,” Hernandez said. “The Foundation has been very proactive and has taken a leadership stance during the pandemic, and we hope to do the same with our new fund.”

As part of its role as a community foundation, The San Diego Foundation works with local nonprofit organizations to help them build agency funds that provide enduring assets and maintain stable revenue streams that ensure long-term sustainability and support. Through agency funds, nonprofit organizations can rely on the expertise of The San Diego Foundation’s experienced team, which allows nonprofit organizations to do what they do best: serve their community. To date, nearly 150 nonprofit organizations have opened more than 400 nonprofit agency funds. To learn more about how to become a donor or start a fund with The San Diego Foundation, visit

About California Southern Small Business Development Corp.

For over 30 years, California Southern has been committed to assisting small and mid-size businesses get the financial assistance they need to become productive and successful and contributing partners in their communities. Through longstanding and trusted relationships with more than 40 banks and lending institutions, California Southern helps secure financing for small businesses that have great potential but lack credit strength and may be unable to qualify for a conventional loan on their own. The program places emphasis on assisting small businesses, particularly minority and women-owned businesses who cannot qualify for a bank loan without a guarantee. California Southern has guaranteed more than 4,000 loan requests for a total of over $387 million supporting small businesses in California. Learn more at