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Corporate Responsibility Updated: 13 Dec 2019

BBVA USA gives $30,000 in grants to Jacksonville nonprofits working to promote small business and entrepreneurship

BBVA USA, in its mission to bring the age of opportunity to everyone, provided significant funding to three nonprofits in Jacksonville who are focused on growth and development of small business and entrepreneurship.

The BBVA Foundation provided $10,000 grants to the University of North Florida’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce’s Entrepreneurial Growth Division and Beaver Street Enterprise Center. The $30,000 brings BBVA USA’s 2019 grant total in the Jacksonville area to over $180,000.

Bradshaw: "BBVA’s Jacksonville presence is a significant piece of the bank’s operation, and we are committed to this area’s prosperity."

“BBVA’s Jacksonville presence is a significant piece of the bank’s operation, and we are committed to this area’s prosperity,” said BBVA USA Northeast Florida CEO Nelson Bradshaw. “Small businesses are the cornerstones to economically strong communities. Our mission of creating opportunities is especially focused on cultivating entrepreneurship, and we pride ourselves in teaming up with organizations with similar goals. These three organizations hold values that align perfectly with ours, and we wanted to contribute to their amazing operations.”

The University of North Florida (UNF) Foundation, Inc. will use their grant to support the UNF Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) and its 14 entrepreneurs with regards to assessment of projects, office space, and general business consulting. The objective of the CEI is to guide entrepreneurs as they move from an idea, to a plan, to launching a business that will benefit the community and generate jobs.

The Jacksonville Chamber Foundation, Inc. will use their grant to  support the Entrepreneurial Growth Division. The program fosters economic development, which creates a thriving entrepreneurial community and spurs job creation.  The Chamber Foundation believes the prosperity of the community is lifted by the success of minorities, low-to-moderate income individuals (LMI), and small business owners who start, grow and sustain their businesses.

Three Jacksonville area nonprofits received $10,000 grants from The BBVA Foundation to promote entrepreneurship and support local small businesses.

According to Carlton Robinson, Vice President, Entrepreneurial Growth, from the Jacksonville Chamber Foundation Development Staff, the success of the Entrepreneurial Growth Division is gauged by the number of people they serve. In 2018, the program served more than 1,780 people, who attended workshops, training sessions, counseling meetings and events.  95% of those served are extremely low (44%), low (40%) or moderate (11%) income individuals.

Core City Business Incubators, Inc. – d.b.a. Beaver Street Enterprise Center (BSEC)– will leverage their grant to support BSEC’s efforts to make significant updates to its facilities which are in need of repair. According to the group, BSEC's main facility, built in 2003, is in need of interior updates so its resident entrepreneurs will have modern, professional space in which to work and meet with their customers and clients.  BSEC is a non-profit business incubator providing space and support services to small start-up companies, most of which are owned by minority and women business owners. Funds will be used to paint the Event Hall, other conference rooms, hallways and doors, and make other improvements. These spaces are used by the more than 40 resident entrepreneurs and organizations, and by outside organizations that utilize the space for business-related training and events.