Rural and Border Initiatives for SBDC


Nogales, AZ

Photographer: Stephanie Bermudez


The AZSBDC is a statewide network that provides one-on-one confidential evaluation and guidance by Business Advisors with business ownership and management experience to help people fast-track their plans and position their business for success. They also offer affordable workshops and seminars to help individuals gain the knowledge and skills needed to succeed. We’re joining forces as the first outside consultants hired through SBDC for support with rural and border initiatives. The result is that the marginalized communities that have been impacted the most by the current economic crisis will have access to the resources they need to start up and stand out. Resources that are also in their language and culturally relevant, both crucial factors to the success of business owners getting their start.

Key Partners



August 2017

Project Type

Thought Leadership and Business Services, Education and Capacity Building


Imagine visiting a SBDC office for business advice and guidance but not being able to understand the business jargon as english isn’t your first language nor the language you do business in. SBDC centers are well-resourced and their business advisors are eager to point business owners and entrepreneurs in the right direction. You can go to them to avoid the pitfalls and to speed up the process of starting your business. However, this only works if they have resources that are culturally relevant and aligned with those seeking the support.

The AZ SBDC recognized that Startup Unidos thrives in supporting border businesses and four out of the ten SBDC centers are in border communities. With our “United we startup” attitude and ability to bring both public and private partnerships to the same table this collaboration was successful in translating all resources and tools into spanish with culturally relevant content.

How do we do this? Our approach is based on a social equity model: we put boots on the ground to ask the right, important questions so that the end user is put first. This is the fabric of how we operate at Startup Unidos. As a result, our relationship with SBDC has extended from one center to all ten.

Additionally, we’re collaborating on a Border Business virtual series that was developed by Startup Unidos in early 2020. This isn’t your average virtual series. We took our key findings from several interactions that spanned across community roundtable discussions, meetings with business leaders, and a thorough analysis to weave together each piece. This is where we thrive, when we’re able to unite all the moving parts that make up the whole. Can you say #unitedwestartup?

What’s next? We’re teaming up with the SBDC to double down on supporting businesses that fall under the CARES Act. We’ll be focusing on what we call the 4 R’s: Response, Recovery, Resilience, and Reinvention by delivering through Business Development and Discovery, Roundtables, Capacity Building, Trainings and Impact.

"SBDC and SU put light on the exciting times it is to be living and working on the border and drawing attention to entrepreneurial opportunities. I am looking forward to getting more involved and doing my part in keeping the entrepreneurial spirit alive" -Eddie Othon

Get Involved

Visit the AZ SBDC to experience the Border Business virtual series first hand! CC SBDC first Border Business Virtual Roundtable to discuss the effects of COVID19, SR189 and USMCA on border economy;

Click here for the facebook video!

Program Support:

If you represent an organization that would like to become an educational, capital, or opportunity partner, please fill out this form to get involved.


1 year later

The project creates opportunities for AZSBDC to see themselves as problem solvers in their own community.

25+ Private and Public Partnerships

Community Discovery Sessions