SAN DIEGO — The first week of May is known as “Small Business Week,” and one of the top entrepreneurs in the United States recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) lives right here in San Diego.
Hernán Luis y Prado is the founder and CEO of VetPowered. Prado, who is a service-disabled veteran, and his wife sold everything they owned to start the advanced manufacturing business VetPowered as well as provide advanced manufacturing training and jobs to veterans, fund the nonprofit “Workshops for Warriors,” and continue to give back to the neighborhood.
“The San Diego & Imperial Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and SBA have proven to be our battle-tested partners in our quest to overcome some extremely challenging situations,” Prado said.
According to a press release, when the pandemic hit, VetPowered pivoted with the SBDC and SBA's help. Prado adjusted operations, kept all employees and hired more. He also provided housing and food and received assistance to refinance business debt and purchase space.
They now own 145,000 sq. ft. spanning five city blocks in Barrio Logan, a HUBZone.
Prado was honored on Thursday as part of a nationwide event. He is also in the running for national titles during the week’s virtual summit with the theme, “Building a Better America Through Entrepreneurship.”
The San Diego & Imperial SBDC Network provides an array of no- and low- cost support to entrepreneurs and small businesses through nine locations/sub-contractors:
- North San Diego SBDC (MiraCosta College) in Carlsbad
- Imperial Valley SBDC (Imperial Regional Alliance) in Imperial
- East County SBDC (East County Economic Development Council) in El Cajon
- South San Diego SBDC (Southwestern College) in National City
- Alliance SBDC (Asian Business Association of San Diego with the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce and the San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce) in Kearny Mesa
- International Rescue Committee SBDC in City Heights
- The Brink SBDC at the University of San Diego, a specialty SBDC for innovation-based companies
- Connect SBDC, a specialty SBDC for innovation-based companies
- Export SBDC at the World Trade Center San Diego, a specialty SBDC for companies expanding to international markets
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