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International Rescue Committee Specializes in…

The International Rescue Committee SBDC in San Diego offers in-language technical assistance, training, and access to micro-loans to support entrepreneurs in starting or expanding their business – with a focus on helping refugees, immigrants, and low-income individuals.

Business strategies, a specialty of the International Rescue Committee SBDC

Business Strategy

We can help you prepare and manage a strategic plan including major goals and initiatives.

Family child care, a specialty of the International Rescue Committee SBDC

Family Child Care

Learn the in’s and out’s of exactly how to start your own child care business.

Micro-lending, a specialty of the International Rescue Committee SBDC


We can assist you with micro-financing options so you can have better access to funding.

Assistance Available in the Following Languages

We strive to offer SBDC services in languages that will best serve our clients throughout the San Diego and Imperial Valley regions.

Consulting Areas at the International Rescue Center SBDC

Our consulting specialities offer a wide variety of services to help you gain knowledge and achieve success in areas ranging from business planning and operations to management and funding.


Our Clients Say

Roanna Canete, Owner of The Gluten Free Baking Company, A Success Story from the San Diego Small Business Development Center Network

“The SBDC’s ongoing support has been nothing short of life-saving! Just a phone call away – they give me the courage to pursue my dreams, knowing there is nothing I can’t do with this incredible team on my side.”

Roanna Canete, Owner, The Gluten Free Baking Company
Farooq Anjum, Co-Founder & CTO of GroGuru Inc.
“The Brink SBDC is providing an invaluable service to entrepreneurs by giving guidance and providing connections to both investors and customers. Events such as the San Diego Angel Conference are the icing on the cake, which spreads the spirit of entrepreneurship in the community by bringing entrepreneurs and new investors together, and resulted in an investment of over $100,000 for our company.”
Farooq Anjum, Co-Founder/CTO, GroGuru Inc
Gayle McEnroe, President of Urethane Masters
“We moved our company to San Diego from Minnesota, and the SBDC gave us instant access to a huge network of contacts that led to obtaining our startup capital and making other crucial connections. Being the “new guy in town” is never easy, but with their help, we hit the ground running”
Gayle McEnroe, President, Urethane Masters
Nahid Razi, Founder/CEO of AccuData

“The Brink SBDC and Dr. Martin Kleckner have been invaluable in the success and progress of AccuDava. They dedicated many hours to reviewing and giving advice on our SBIR grant application to the National Cancer Institute, which was successfully awarded $300,000. Their unconditional support continued with extreme efforts that helped us with a $50,000 NIH I-corps grant, which resulted in additional NCI grant funding of $150,000 to extend our diagnostic test application to non-small cell lung cancer.”

Nahid Razi, Founder/CEO, AccuDava

Our Team at the International Rescue Committee SBDC

Our team is dedicated to empowering your small business.

Our business advisors at the International Rescue Committee SBDC are highly skilled in their fields and industries as well as knowledgeable in specific business topics.

Adriana Taboada, San Diego & Imperial SBDC Business Advisor at the International Rescue Committee

Adriana Taboada

Director of the IRC SBDC

Entrepreneur, nonprofit manger, economic development, program developer
Afal Al Sammarraie, San Diego & Imperial SBDC Business Advisor at the International Rescue Committee

Afal Al Sammarraie


Speaks Arabic, marketer, coordinator
Irene Bwayo, San Diego & Imperial SBDC Business Advisor at the International Rescue Committee

Irene Bwayo


Microenterprise, program developer/designer, start-ups
Jumana Tahboub, International Rescue Committee

Jumana Tahboub


Operations management, international nonprofits
Kellie Quinn, International Rescue Committee

Kellie Quinn


Coordinator, communicator, multilingual business professional

Adriana Taboada

Director of the IRC SBDC

Adriana is the IRC-SBDC director. Since becoming an SBDC in January 2019, the IRC has served over 800 entrepreneurs. Through in-language technical assistance, training, and access to micro-loans, the IRC-SBDC helps local small businesses prosper by delivering no-cost business assistance with a focus on helping refugees, immigrants, and communities with limited access to mainstream financing. Prior to joining the IRC, Adriana worked for the United Nations Humanitarian Funds in Geneva, Switzerland, where she managed a portfolio of over 40 grantees across the globe. She has over 10 years' experience in nonprofit management and program development as well as specializes in working with economic development programs serving underserved communities. At the SBDC, Adriana focuses on developing and overseeing programs geared toward alleviating barriers to entrepreneurship. Her passion for working in economic development and assisting entrepreneurs can be traced back to her years growing up in Lima, Peru, where she used to help at her family’s store. As with many of the clients who come to the IRC-SBDC, when Adriana and her family first moved to the United States, a lack of credit history, limited access to capital, and limited knowledge of the requirements for starting a small business in the States, placed significant barriers. Adriana’s goal is to provide entrepreneurs with the tools they need to overcome those barriers. Through the programs available at the IRC-SBDC, she and her team hope to have a long-lasting economic impact on the communities they serve.

Afal Al Sammarraie


Afal is a childcare business counselor at the IRC-SBDC in San Diego, and she speaks Arabic. She shares who their team helps clients get in-home childcare licenses by providing counseling, training, bookkeeping, technical support, materials, and more. Afal adds they also provide marketing, license renewal assistance, and change of address application help. This skilled advisor also coordinates client intake.

Irene Bwayo


Irene is a microenterprise advisor with the IRC-SBDC. She has over eight years' experience working in the refugee and immigrant communities, from language interpretation to community health promotion. Irene has worked on designing, developing, and implementing a Business Women in Action (BWIA) program that works with women from refugee and immigrant communities to learn how to navigate barriers in establishing viable businesses in San Diego. Her areas of expertise include business start-up through licensing and strengthening, a lean canvas business plan model, access to capital, business strategy, and financial coaching. During her tenure as an advisor, Irene has worked with clients such as Ali Awow featured in The New York Times neediest Case and Lili Kouture featured in The San Diego Union-Tribune. She has also collaborated with Aluliden Company out of New York to help a client with website design and branding. Irene holds a bachelor's in health care administration, emphasizing health care management. She's currently a graduate student at Arizona State University, Thunderbird School of Global Management, where she's studying applied leadership in cooperate business management. Irene's other training includes coaching, difficult interactions, feedback essentials, and team management from Harvard Business publishing.

Jumana Tahboub


Jumana has over 10 years' experience in managing operational activities of international non-profit organizations including financial management, procurement, and administrative matters. For a few years she has been working as a business counselor with IRC-SBDC, assisting entrepreneurs starting up and expanding their businesses by providing one-on-one counseling sessions, guiding clients through licensing process, and assisting them with access to financing.

Kellie Quinn


Kellie’s professional career is focused on entrepreneurship within the refugee and immigrant community. She currently works as a senior business advisor at the IRC-SBDC. In her position, Kellie aids residents of San Diego in establishing or expanding their businesses through means such as writing business plans and applying for appropriate permits as well as grants from the City of San Diego. Prior to the SBDC, Kellie worked in various coordinator and research positions at San Diego State University. As a coordinator, she worked in the Office of International Programs (OIP) to promote international education through short-term study abroad programs and grant opportunities such as Fulbright. Following OIP, Kellie worked as a financial coordinator for the School of Communication. As a researcher, Kellie worked on projects ranging from diaspora philanthropy, homelessness, and racial equity policy implementation across the United States. Kellie was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Casablanca, Morocco. She worked at the Université Hassan II in the Faculty of Law, Economics, and Social Sciences. She obtained her bachelor's degree in religious studies with a double minor in international studies and Italian, and she earned her master's in public administration from San Diego State.

From 2015-2020, the San Diego & Imperial SBDC team helped strengthen our regional small businesses.


International Rescue Committee SBDC Location

The International Rescue Committee SBDC is located in San Diego.

Due to precautionary measures, no in-person appointments are occurring or being scheduled. One-on-one appointments online or via phone are being provided during this time. Reach out to schedule your appointment.

5348 University Ave., Suite 205
San Diego, CA 92105
(619) 797-6807


We are grateful to the sponsors who have continued to support SBDC programs and entrepreneurs across San Diego and Imperial counties.

Workshops & Trainings

The SBDC offers training workshops on topics such as starting your business, financing your business, operations, marketing, and much more.