The Idea Center at MDC Expands Small Business ProgrammingScale Up D5 program is a partnership with Miami-Dade County

small business owners in classroom

The Idea Center at Miami Dade College (MDC) is expanding its partnership with Miami-Dade County Commissioner Eileen Higgins with $180,000 for the Scale Up D5 program through her Elevate District 5 initiative.

Scale Up D5 provides small business owners in Miami-Dade County’s Commission District 5, which includes parts of Downtown Miami, Little Havana, and Miami Beach, with a unique opportunity to grow their businesses through classes led by subject matter experts, one-on-one coaching with business advisors, networking with community leaders and a pitch competition for a chance to win up to $5,000 in business grants.

“I am absolutely thrilled to relaunch and expand the Scale Up D5 program,” said Commissioner Eileen Higgins. “This initiative is close to my heart because it’s all about equipping our local entrepreneurs in District 5 with the tools and resources they need to thrive. Miami Dade College and The Idea Center continue being our partners in igniting the entrepreneurial spirit and supporting the small business community of District 5. Get ready for an exciting, transformative adventure as we Elevate and ScaleUp D5 together!”

Scale Up D5 is specifically designed for businesses in District 5 that have been in operation for a minimum of one year, employ no more than 10 individuals, and generate an annual revenue below $500,000. Applications for the next Scale Up D5 are currently being accepted.

“The Idea Center at Miami Dade College has supported over 500 small business owners through our training programs. We are now looking to expand that impact for District 5 businesses. Our partnership with Commissioner Eileen Higgins’ Elevate District 5 program will ensure that we empower nearly 100 small business owners – local heroes that keep our economy going every day – with the skills and resources to generate wealth and jobs in our community,” said Alejandro D. González, Executive Director of The Idea Center.

Scale Up D5 will be offered in both English and Spanish and will run from January 24 – April 11, 2024. Interested business owners can submit their applications at and select their preferred class (English or Spanish). The application deadline is January 12, 2024. For more information about Scale Up D5, please contact: Jorge I. Guillen at

About The Idea Center at Miami Dade College

The Idea Center @ MDC is the college’s groundbreaking hub for entrepreneurship and innovation. Through cutting-edge entrepreneurship education, professional development and experiential learning, students and community members can acquire the tools needed to launch or scale their businesses. For more information, visit

About Elevate D5: An initiative by Miami-Dade County Commissioner Eileen Higgins that utilizes data and feedback to create, leverage, and expand programs and tools to support and strengthen small businesses in District 5. The program is funded by the American Rescue Plan (ARPA), President Biden’s plan to provide direct relief to Americans and rescue the economy. For more information, visit