Miami Dade College Among Recipients of TD Charitable Foundation $4.4 Million Grants to Support Transformative Projects

The Idea Center at MDC will offer Scale Up Miami: Jumpstart Your Small Business Program

Miami, Feb. 20, 2018 – The TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, awarded more than $4.4 million in grants to fifteen local non-profit organizations including a $500,000 grant to The Idea Center at Miami Dade College (MDC), as a part of the Foundation’s overall commitment to support the economic development of small business owners and individuals in low-to-moderate income (LMI) communities across its footprint.

This support will enable these local organizations to reinvest in their communities and create economic development. The grants will also contribute to job creation, opportunities for entrepreneurship, and aiding in innovative financial product development.

The Idea Center’s Scale Up Miami: Jumpstart Your Small Business Program is an 18-month program targeting 75 micro-enterprises over three cohorts proposed by Miami Dade College’s Idea Center. The IC has a proven track record in supporting small businesses by utilizing the highly successful Babson College curriculum used nationwide. The IC will bring the best of the Babson College curriculum and pair it down for micro-enterprises. This will entail a tailored, 40-hour training program for local, small business owners with follow-on business coaching and technical assistance for three months at no cost.

“We are excited to launch this program to support small businesses in underserved communities in Miami-Dade County,” said Dr. Romi Bhatia, Executive Director of the Idea Center at Miami Dade College. “Miami’s residents are great at creating new businesses, but we know that many small businesses also struggle to grow. We are committed to helping these local businesses scale up.”

Businesses located within a 5-mile radius from downtown Miami are eligible to apply. In four weekend workshops, small business owners will learn how to improve their business operations, refine their business marketing strategy and gain the financial know-how to access new funding channels. To apply, complete an application form at The deadline to apply is March 25.

Six out of every ten Miami-Dade County residents struggle to pay for basic necessities of food, housing, transportation, healthcare and childcare, and 21 percent of local families live below the poverty, according to a United Way report released in February 6, 2017. Aspiring for better lives for their families, many residents have started their own micro-enterprises, particularly in low-income communities. Miami-Dade County has significant small business and entrepreneurial activity, particularly in its low-income communities.

According to Social Compact’s 2009 Miami Drilldown Survey, some 3,330 of these micro enterprises and 1,502 small businesses exist in the neighborhoods touching the campus of Miami Dade College’s Idea Center: Overtown, Allapattah, and downtown Miami. Most of these business owners have low financial literacy, insufficient business credit history and lack the tools and knowledge to operate their business effectively and efficiently. The Jumpstart Microenterprises Initiative aims to close this gap.

“The TD Charitable Foundation is proud to partner with the Idea Center at Miami Dade College as we work together to support our local South Florida community,” said Nick Miceli, Regional President for the Florida Market and Board Member of the TD Charitable Foundation. “It’s been said that small businesses are the driver of our economy and via the funding from the TD Charitable Foundation and the curriculum and training that the Idea Center will be providing, we believe many South Florida business owners and their businesses will be able to sustain themselves, grow and hopefully add additional jobs locally.”

As part of TD Bank’s commitment to giving back to the community, the TD Charitable Foundation supports non-profit organizations committed to affordable housing, economic development, neighborhood revitalization, financial literacy, and human services.

About the TD Charitable Foundation
The TD Charitable Foundation is the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, one of the 10 largest commercial banking organizations in the United States. The Foundation’s mission is to support, respect and improve the quality of life in the diverse communities where we live and do business. Since its inception in 2002, the Foundation has distributed more than $187.7 million and more than 17,000 grants in charitable donations from Maine to Florida. The TD Charitable Foundation focuses on supporting the following community needs: affordable housing, economic development, neighborhood revitalization, financial literacy, and human services. Recently, more than 90 percent of the grants awarded by the Foundation benefited low-and moderate- income communities and individuals. More information on the TD Charitable Foundation, including an online grant application, is available at

About TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®
TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 9 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at more than 1,200 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit Find TD Bank on Facebook at and on Twitter at

TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol “TD”. To learn more, visit

About The Idea Center at Miami Dade College
The Idea Center @MDC is the college’s groundbreaking hub of innovation, the place where students from all disciplines can gather, collaborate and take advantage of resources and training to develop their entrepreneurial ideas. Through cutting-edge entrepreneurship education, professional development and experiential learning, students and community members can acquire the tools needed to identify challenges and develop solutions. The Idea Center has several components including Startup Challenge, CREATE accelerator, Apple Swift, Webdev, the Innovation Lab and the Mike Fernandez Global Business Leadership Series, to name a few. It is made possible through the support of Knight Foundation. For more information, visit

TD Bank Contact: Manokia Musonge, TD Bank, 856-813-4203,