The South OC EntrepreneursAcademy is a partnership initiated by the City of Lake Forest, California that includes the cities of Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, and San Clemente and began in July 2018. The Academy is composed of a series of workshops organized through SCORE and designed to provide training to aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners in a free and accessible manner. SCORE is a national nonprofit that works to provide free business mentoring and education. This program is powered in part by the content and resources that SCORE provides access to. SCORE offers live and recorded webinars, interactive courses on demand and in-person, local workshops from industry leaders and mentors on a variety of business topics.
Participating cities host these events to increase the visibility and accessibility of these programs while SCORE provides high quality content and speakers for workshop seminars. The City of Lake Forest and other neighboring cities value the opportunities that small businesses and entrepreneurship provide for each community. They bring options to our citizens, encourage local commerce, and grow the local economy. For this reason, we have made small business owners’ access to mentorship, education, and training tools a priority in our programming.
Earlier this year, the South OC Entrepreneurs Academy was recognized by the American Planners Association (APA) with an Award of Merit for municipal “Best Practices”. During the first year of the program, the Academy featured 13 sessions with nearly 400 program attendees.