The Small Business Entrepreneurship Center (SBEC), a non-profit community organization is providing an umbrella for and creating the Santa Maria Enterprise Center (SMEC) and the Santa Barbara Enterprise Center (SBEC) as well as the Green2Gold environmental and renewable energy technologies project – all new, enterprise, non-profit, mixed tech/ mixed use incubators.
The SBEC also hosts the Santa Barbara SCORE (Service Corp of Retired Executives, a program of U.S. SBA) with free monthly open counseling each Wednesday, 8:30am-11:30 am at SBEC location. Chairperson Steven Jones of Wilson Publishing and former president of the Goleta Chamber of Commerce says: “our role is to create more small businesses and help entrepreneurs create jobs and new wealth in our community by establishing new business incubators. This is a county wide effort to nurture entrepreneurship and provide resources, training, mentorship, and access to debt and equity capital for start-ups.” The National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) has statistics that show an 87% success rate for new enterprises that go through business incubators.
SBEC also has a program for funding resources: “The Loan Guru ™” an ombudsperson for financing options, SBA guaranteed loans and other debt funding. In addition, the SBEC has access to equity or private “angel” and venture capital resources.