Long Beach

ESHIP Long Beach engages grassroots and entrepreneur leaders in efforts to grow connectivity, collective impact, and community alignment in support of the City of Long Beach Economic Development Blueprint, as well as its goals for economic inclusion and entrepreneurship.

The ESHIP Long Beach initiative is being supported by the City of Long Beach.

We’d love to get you plugged into the exciting work and collaborations emerging in your local ESHIP Community! Sign-up to receive info about upcoming opportunities and stay in-the-know with monthly updates.

Meet Our Council

Get to know the power behind the work! Meet our group of council members who make our local efforts happen.


The purpose of the Research Summary is to inform the local council on the latest ecosystem data available as they support and form current and future pathfinder projects.

On December 9, 2020, ESHIP Long Beach, in partnership with the CSULB Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Fuller Management Corporation, and avana creative launched the Long Beach Small Business Crosswalk. This interactive web tool, designed for entrepreneurs and business navigators, offers resources tailored to what a small business owner needs in the moment in a simple interface.


The Crosswalk is divided into four sections: Funding, Planning, Legal, and Local, featuring resources from across our ecosystem and from ESHIP Long Beach collaborators, as well as a map of neighborhood-based resources.

Laura Merryfield HeadshotLaura Merryfield

ESHIP Long Beach Local Director (2019 -2021)

Laura worked in Long Beach, California to grow the local entrepreneurial ecosystem and to build best practices across all ESHIP communities. Most recently, they completed a master’s degree in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, with research and fieldwork spanning equity in disaster response, cross-sectoral partnership effectiveness, and civic innovation.

Laura has deep roots in Long Beach, having grown up in the city and its schools and spent years in the nonprofit sector. They worked on community organizing campaigns around health equity, education justice, and immigrant rights with both Building Healthy Communities: Long Beach (now Long Beach Forward) and the Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition.

Laura is especially proud of their work with the community-based Long Beach Language Access Coalition to advocate for and partner in the implementation of the city’s Language Access Policy, allowing Long Beach residents and community members from all backgrounds to have greater voice in local governance. Laura holds a BA in development studies from the University of California, Berkeley.

This Kauffman Foundation initiative is led by a collaborative council of individuals who represent different stakeholders from across the community. Forward Cities is managing the implementation of this effort as a grantee of the Kauffman Foundation.

For more information contact:

Brett Brenton

Senior Director of Learning Networks