The U. S. Small Business Administration announced this week plans to open a new Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of San Diego.

The centers, which are hosted by universities, colleges and state economic development agencies and funded in part by the United States Congress through a partnership with the SBA, provide no-cost business consulting and low-cost training.

There are nearly 1,000 such centers, which aim to further innovation and sustainable economic development of regional economies.

“The University of San Diego will be a great asset to innovation-focused small businesses and entrepreneurs in the region as the host for the Small Business Development Center,” said Marquise Jackson, regional director of the San Diego & Imperial SBCD Network, which is led by the regional office at Southwestern College. “This partnership will allow the SBDC Network to continue to promote entrepreneurship and create a thriving, globally competitive ecosystem here in San Diego.”

Jaime Alonso Gómez, dean of the USD School of Business, said the center will be a multidisciplinary effort involving the business school, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering and the university’s Division of Professional and Continuing Education.

At the center, USD faculty members and other professionals will serve as mentors and technical experts for startups and established tech firms, offering consulting on general business matters, financing and technology. The center will also offer mentoring, networking and training programs and events.

The USD location joins centers in National City, Oceanside and El Centro.