While the Duke City is known for its breathtaking vistas, vibrant culture, and massive slate of activities, it’s also a hotbed of innovation and entrepreneurship. That’s right, Albuquerque is a welcoming city for startups and small business owners alike — in no small part because of the wealth of resources available for entrepreneurs and budding brands.
In this guide, we’re breaking down some of those key industry supporters and organizations to help future Duke City business leaders build their networks.
Starting a Business in Albuquerque: Support Resources and More
If you’re interested in starting a business in Albuquerque, there are numerous entities dedicated to supporting small businesses and fresh startups. Let’s zoom in on some of the city’s most ardent industrial support organizations.
City of Albuquerque Economic Development Department Small Business Office
The City of Albuquerque’s Economic Development Department is dedicated to enhancing job growth and economic stability in the area, and it has a special arm specifically devoted to small outfits in the Duke City — the Small Business Office (SBO).
The SBO offers a wide variety of services to entrepreneurs in the city:
- One-on-one support – The SBO partners business owners with one-on-one support representatives. This representative helps brands connect with the city’s network of entrepreneurial support.
- Technical assistance and training – The SBO office hosts workshops related to numerous business-related topics like tech integration, marketing, and customer service.
- Assistance navigating city services – The SBO helps new businesses understand and tackle city processes and services.
Above all, the SBO is a testament to Albuquerque’s welcoming startup and small business economy.
Bernalillo County Economic Development Department
The Bernalillo County Economic Development Department serves a few major functions in the Albuquerque area:
- Supporting businesses in unincorporated areas of the county (while partnering with the city’s Economic Development Department for some functions)
- Connecting businesses with financial incentives and support opportunities
- Helping support the local economy in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County via out-of-state recruitment efforts and job generation
If you’re considering moving to Albuquerque from out of state, partnering with the Bernalillo County Economic Development Department may offer an opportunity to network, uncover local financial resources, and discuss the logistics of starting a business in the County as a new resident.
1 Million Cups
1 Million Cups (1MC) is a national program focused on:
- Educating business owners
- Connecting entrepreneurs with local networks
- Fostering community among business leaders and innovators
Albuquerque’s 1MC program is one of the fastest-growing in the country. One of their most prominent local functions is a weekly meeting at the FatPipe ABQ incubator. During these meetings, entrepreneurs have an opportunity to present and perfect their elevator pitches and ideas in front of a diverse, local audience of business leaders.
1MC offers an array of networking opportunities and more for prospective Duke City entrepreneurs.
ABQid has two arms:
- A 501(c)3 nonprofit organization – The nonprofit arm of ABQid identifies new businesses with high growth potential, connecting them to resources, knowledge, and contacts that can help them succeed in the local marketplace. They offer numerous services and programs to the general public (like Office Hours) along with a flagship, 12-week business accelerator program (which requires an application).
- ABQid Fund – ABQid Fund is a for-profit venture fund seeking returns on their investments in early-stage startups.
Whether you apply for the nonprofit’s 12-week accelerator program or seek venture capital from the ABQid Fund, this two-pronged organization offers a fast lane to business growth in Albuquerque.
Creative Startups is a nonprofit organization with global reach specifically dedicated to small and startup businesses in creative sectors — music, film, fashion, and more. Their Albuquerque organization is focused on connecting creatives with:
- Venture capital and early investors
- Acceleration programs and networks
- Dedicated business resources like mentoring and professional development
Globally, Creative Startups has worked with more than 400 businesses and raised over $300 million in capital for creative brands. Their network is massive, and they offer Albuquerque creative startups a connection to both the local and global economies.
Grow It! New Mexico
Grow It! New Mexico is a state-wide endeavor that started as a standalone resource for business owners, offering free information related to:
- Business licensing
- Registration fees
In 2020, Finance New Mexico, a startup firm, partnered with Grow It! New Mexico to provide even more support to the organization, lending their human resources and network of free and low-cost business resources to the project.
By putting business development resources directly into the hands of entrepreneurs and innovators, Grow It! aims to stimulate private sector growth and help budding brands access quality intel and support.
University of New Mexico Small Business Institute (SBI)
The University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management offers Duke City businesses support via their Small Business Institute (SBI). Each semester, the SBI partners select local brands with a small team of students led by a faculty member, and these teams offer partner businesses:
- Strategic management and planning services
- Marketing research
- Financial analysis
- Business plan writing and revision
In 2014 and 2015 alone, SBI’s team generated 195 jobs in the Albuquerque economy; a study by the Mid-Region Council of Governments credits the program with growing the entire state’s economy by over $14 million in gross domestic product.
The SBI offers Albuquerque business leaders a unique opportunity to connect with budding management experts at a low cost.
Start a Thriving Business in Albuquerque
The list above is just the tip of the iceberg of industry support in Albuquerque. If you’re looking to start a business in a new city, Albuquerque offers a wealth of economic opportunity in a welcoming, growing marketplace.
The fertile entrepreneurial landscape is just one of many advantages of moving to Albuquerque — between our jaw-dropping views and many fun activities, Duke City is a stellar place to call home!