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Home About Us Mission and History

Mission and History


The mission of RenaissanceEntrepreneurshipCenter is to empower and increase the entrepreneurial capacities of socially and economically diverse women and men, and thereby strengthen our communities through the creation of sustainable new businesses, new jobs, and the promotion of financial self-sufficiency.


1985 – Renaissance launched with Business Planning classes to help very low-to- moderate income women and men start and grow their own small businesses. The organization grew steadily and added Introduction to Business and Advanced Business classes.

1990 – Renaissance launched the first non-profit small business incubator in Northern California, housing five businesses.

1995 – Renaissance added our FinancingResourceCenter to provide technical assistance and loan packaging services to help entrepreneurs who were otherwise unable to access traditional sources of capital.

1997 – Renaissance purchased our own building at 275 Fifth Street, San Francisco and expanded our Incubator to 14 emerging businesses and one commercial tenant.

1999 – In partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Renaissance became a Women’s BusinessCenter.

2001 – Renaissance launched our second location, Renaissance/Bayview Business Resource Center (Ren/BBRC), to serve emerging and established businesses in the Bayview/Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco.

2003 – Renaissance expanded the Incubator to serve 30 small businesses.

2004 – Renaissance expanded Ren/BBRC to add a small business technology center.

2005 – Renaissance launched Business Acceleration, an initiative to provide customized advanced services to help accelerate the growth of graduate businesses.

2006 – Renaissance formed the Fashion Industry Network (FIN), a partnership with the Los Angeles based Fashion Business Incubator (FBI).

2007 – Renaissance merged with Start Up, an East Palo Alto based micro-enterprise organization.

2008 – Renaissance completed a five-year strategic plan outlining its goals for organizational growth, and launched offsite programs in Daly City, San Rafael and Richmond, CA.

2009 – Began managing the Third Street Corridor Program, a neighborhood market place initiative to support economic development focusing on the Third Street, Bayview Hunters Point’s main commercial corridor. Expanded Renaissance Mid-Peninsula with a small business technology center.

2010 – Launched Out of the Box, California’s first entrepreneurship program designed for formerly incarcerated persons; began design of Micro Enterprise Training Executed via Online Resources (METEOR), an online entrepreneurship training program; updated our RenaissanceBayviewSmallBusinessComputerCenter and digitized our SoMa training classroom.

2012 -- In partnership with the Marin Community Foundation, Renaissance opened its fourth location, Renaissance Marin, in San Rafael. 

2013 -- Renaissance Marin became the host of Marin County SBDC (Small Business Development Center), a program of the SBA that offers both, low-cost business training classes and workshops and no-cost short, mid, and long-term counseling for existing businesses and certain start-ups.

2013 -- Launched the Renaissance Alumni Business Association. 

2014 -- Renaissance opened its fifth location in the Bay Area -- Renaissance Richmond.

2014 -- Launched a Small Business Incubator at Renaissance Mid-Peninsula.

2014 -- Renaissance expanded women-focused program to provide training and services for lower-income high-potential entrepreneurial women.