About the California Center

The Milken Institute California Center is dedicated to identifying solutions to strengthen California’s role as a global incubator for innovation in policy, technology, and business. By focusing on the connection between government policy and the state’s economy, we can ensure that the steps we take today will improve the future of California, the U.S., and the world at large.

Quick Facts
  • Non-partisan, independent
  • Based in Los Angeles, CA
  • We partner with major players in the business, political, and civic arenas, to address the state’s most intractable issues and leverage California’s legacy of innovation to produce 21st century solutions.

Focus Areas


Identify key gaps in transportation, energy, housing, and water infrastructures to ensure the state’s long-term economic and social prosperity.

Business Climate

Address structural barriers that are inhibiting the state’s ability to attract, retain, and grow businesses.

Small Business and Trade

Grow small business and exports to strengthen California’s position as a global nexus for trade, manufacturing, and technological innovation.

Human Capital

Engage with public and private sectors to make California a place that can educate, train, attract, and retain skilled talent within the state’s key industries and regions.

Global California

Advocate for policies that strengthen California’s position as a global leader in trade, entertainment, technology, agriculture, aerospace, and manufacturing.


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New to Export 101

The Milken Institute’s California Center has launched a new program called New to Export 101 (“NTE 101”) to help local New-to-Exporting manufacturers (“NTEs”) distribute their products abroad. 

It reflects the Center’s dedication to identifying solutions to strengthen California’s role as a global incubator for innovation in policy, technology and business, and the Milken Institute’s overall mission to stimulate economic growth and create jobs.

NTE 101-Los Angeles – our pilot effort – will provide each participating NTE with a mentor to guide them through a standardized set of services to ensure they receive the knowledge, training, and support they need to succeed. This is particularly important when manufacturers must engage with multiple export assistance agencies and organizations.

NTE 101 services include assessments, counseling, and training to help participants identify target markets, develop export market plans, find overseas buyers and distributors, secure export financing and insurance, comply with regulations, and ultimately deliver their product.

NTE 101 will also coordinate and streamline export assistance resources and services.

Learn More About New to Export 101
If you are a Los Angeles area manufacturer that has shown reasonable success distributing to U.S. markets
and are interested in exporting abroad, please contact Maurice Kogon, Director of NTE 101- Los Angeles.

If you are an export assistance service provider interested in learning more about the NTE 101 initiative,
please contact Carolyn Karo at the Milken Institute.

PLUM: Partnership for Lending in Underserved Markets

The Milken Institute has partnered with the Small Business Administration on a two-year initiative to develop actionable solutions to address long-standing structural problems that inhibit minority-owned small businesses from accessing capital and growing their operations.

Baltimore, MD and Los Angeles, CA – two cities with high concentrations of minority-owned small businesses – were selected as pilot cities. Their local task forces include representation from the local small business community, local and national lenders, business development leaders, financial technology firms, and local and national policymakers and regulators. Additionally, at the national level, the Milken Institute is developing policy briefs and convening Financial Innovations Labs and other targeted research and activities to identify actionable recommendations to address national policy priorities and the loan underwriting process.

The pilot initiative is occurring over three phases:
  • Problem Definition – challenges and opportunities minority-owned small businesses face in each metropolitan area;
  • Solutions – identification of potential solutions to address the challenges through established action groups focused on local or national policies and developments and creation of strategic plans to guide execution;

  • Implementation – begin execution with local champions and other national recommendations and publish local lessons learned and best practices as well as the outcomes of other national activities.

PLUM Phase I Summary: Developing Action-Oriented Solutions to the Financing Challenges Facing Minority-Owned Small Businesses

PLUM summary phase 1This paper is a summary of the first phase of the initiative, which focused on:

  • identifying and analyzing the root causes affecting lending to minority-owned small businesses;
  • creating working groups in Baltimore and Los Angeles to identify specific challenges related to the loan underwriting process, public policy, and economic development; and 
  • initiating research on these topics at the national level.

Download Report


Learn More About PLUM
If you are interested in engaging in this work, please contact:
Kevin Klowden | Executive Director, California Center 
Aron Betru | Managing Director, Center for Financial Markets



Executive Director, Center for Regional Economics

Associate Director, Center for Regional Economics