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Cal State LA receives $1 million grant from Wells Fargo for equity in entrepreneurship program

June 11, 2021

By Cal State LA News Service

Cal State LA has received a $1 million grant from Wells Fargo to support the launch of a new 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 given 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 LA SBDC Network to launch the Leading for Equity in Entrepreneurship Accelerator and Fellowship (LEEAF) program.

The new program supports students who want to learn more about entrepreneurship and help communities recover following 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 Cal State LA Professor Marla A. Parker, who is 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.”

Photo: Students at Cal State LA. (Credit: Emilio J. Flores/Cal State LA)

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California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 26,000 students and has more than 250,000 distinguished alumni.

Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex and the TV, Film and Media Center. For more information, visit