Inland Empire/Desert Regional Consortium Logo

Business and Entrepreneurship

Priority and Emerging Sectors


The mission of the Business and Entrepreneurship Sector is to work together with industry and education to improve and expand our business and entrepreneurial curriculum so we better deliver a job-ready workforce and entrepreneurial leaders to ensure California’s economic growth and global competitiveness.

Due to the vast area and unique diversity of the Inland Empire/Desert Region, small business development is especially vital to the area. The Business and Entrepreneurship Deputy Sector Navigator’s work plan entails a truly collaborative effort across the region with community colleges, school districts, local small businesses, public agencies, and the Centers of Excellence to obtain timely and accurate data related to workforce training needs of existing businesses. The Deputy Sector Navigator (DSN) also provides professional development opportunities, increases the visibility of vocational and technical education, and economic development opportunities throughout the region.

The DSN’s role is to partner with regional employers, community colleges, high schools, regional occupation Centers and programs, county agencies, and additional stakeholders to align, articulate, expand, replicate, and develop curriculum related to the small business industry. This program will help ensure that educational pathways offered to students are on pace with innovative business models by assisting community colleges, faculty, and small business administrators throughout the region. To achieve these goals, the DSN will:

  • Coordinate with educational partners to identify gaps in existing education.
  • Collaborate with existing small businesses, and the organizations that support them, to identify training needs, and then support the development of methods to offer relevant training so that small business can grow and be successful.
  • Convene meeting, seminars, workshops, and forums for regional academics and employers to work together in developing strategies, programs, and curriculum that address the gaps and needs identified.
  • Support the regional creation of career pathways and flexible training options (credit, non-credit, certificate, and contract education formats) to meet the needs of students, employers, and incumbent workers.
  • Collect, analyze, report, and disseminate data throughout the grant program to improve access to, and the use of, relevant, regional , and timely data for decision making.

The Business and Entrepreneurship Deputy Sector Navigator aims to:

  • Supply in-demand skills for employers
  • Support the creation of relevant pathways and stackable credentials for students
  • Get Californians trained and into open jobs
  • Promote student success
  • Identify workforce needs related to small business employment and development

Upcoming Events

Good news! NACCE has extended the Entrepreneurship Specialist 1.0 and 2.0 Certificate program online to make it available to more people. These courses are at your own pace, and you can finish as quickly or take as much time as you need. Visit the NACCE Institute. If you are interested in participating, please contact Lisa Kiplinger Kennedy - [email protected].

    NACCE's Entrepreneurship Specialist Certificate Online Training

    February 18th through August 18th, 2019

    The purpose of this course is to provide community college administrators, faculty, and staff with information and ideas on how to apply the entrepreneurial method to the business of running a community college as well as in creating, refining and sustaining successful entrepreneurship education programs. In addition, this course will provide the tools for you to assist existing and future students and community members in applying the entrepreneurial method to achieve their goals.
    NACCE has expanded the participation window on this training until August, so folks can still register for it and jump in at any time.

    Website & Registration

    Entrepreneurship Specialist 2.0 – Funding & Development

    March 4th through September 4th, 2019

    Fundraising in the community college environment is different from university and non-profit development, and requires entrepreneurial thinking to produce innovative outcomes. By reframing your development strategy through the lens of effectual thinking participants will develop new skills and pathways to grow partners and produce financial results. Whether you are a college administrator, an enterprising faculty member or a stakeholder in a community college environment this course will shift your mindset in new directions.
    Funding & Development opens 3/4th and folks can register now and the participation window runs till Sept.

    Website & Registration

UpStarters Discover Camp

UpStarters Discover Camp for High School Students

Registration Open Now through June 21st, 2019
California State University, San Bernardino

High School Students!
Get a Taste of Entrepreneurship and the College Experience this Summer with the CSUSB Entrepreneurship program! Learn & Explore the Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship from our Globally Recognized program!
A fully immersive college experience including: a 3 day, 2 night stay at the newest neighborhood on campus, Arrowhead Village; and 14 hours entrepreneurial instruction, campus tour and fun and engaging activities. The housing offers Apartment-style living ideally suited for upper-class students seeking independent living that is fully furnished, including kitchen appliances (fridge, oven range and garbage disposal), common study and lounge areas, high-speed internet and individual unit climate control.
All meals and program materials are included, as well as select toiletries and linens.

  • 14 hours of instruction and experiential learning
  • 75 minute campus tour
  • All participants stay in our on campus student housing
  • Mindset - how to Think Like An Owner!™
  • Where do ideas come from - problem-solving, creativity, and innovation
  • Power of customer feedback/ validation - vetting your idea
  • Choosing the right startup model for your venture
  • Identifying the right startup resources
  • Avoiding the rookie mistakes
  • Learning takeaways & engaging events

Website & Registration


  • Curriculum Team Takes Entrepreneurship to a New Level - March 2019
    The Inland Empire Desert Region has recently been working on a 21-unit stackable Entrepreneurship Certificate program. Funded as a Strong Workforce Regional project, a team of 12 has been meeting monthly, since April 2018, to create course outlines for eight new entrepreneurship curricula. This team is comprised of ten college faculty champions (one from each participating college), an academic senate representative, and the region’s Deputy Sector Navigator (DSN) of Business and Entrepreneurship.
  • A Stressful Victory - January 23, 2019
    The Sultana High School engineering team took home a first place trophy during the “2nd annual Curiosity Quest Engineering Competition” hosted by GE Aviation.
  • High School VEI Competition Coming to Pasadena Convention Center - February 13, 2018


Lisa Kiplinger-Kennedy

Deputy Sector Navigator
[email protected]
Hosted at Victor Valley Community College District
18422 Bear Valley Road
Victorville, CA. 92395

Charles Eason

Statewide Sector Navigator
[email protected]