Dear Friends and Supporters,
As you know, I joined the ICA Fund Good Jobs team earlier this year. Since my first day, I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen, and even more excited for what’s to come. I am proud to be a part of this organization and happy to share my perspective on this year’s impact report.
ICA has accomplished a lot: over two decades we’ve worked with over 600 companies. These companies have together created and retained over 5,500 jobs, and paid more than $105M in wages. Furthermore, the companies in our investment portfolio have raised over $30M in capital, while the 13 companies in the Good Jobs Accelerator raised $10 million in capital. Together, they paid out more than $17M in wages to Bay Area employees in 2018.
It has been three years since ICA officially became a CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution). We remain the only CDFI explicitly designed to work with small businesses to create good jobs for those who need them most. The community development finance field has been very impactful in our history, but we still aren’t seeing the outcomes we need in terms of equity in access to capital across racial, gender, geographic, and industry lines. With an explicit focus of directing resources and capital to these communities, ICA is testing and measuring the outcomes this kind of work creates.
People of color, and especially women of color, have long started businesses at higher rates than their white counterparts. However, their capacity for growth is constrained by under-capitalization, and lack of access to high-caliber advisor and investor networks. ICA’s businesses are members of underestimated communities seeking to raise between $50,000 and $2 million. Most have outgrown micro-lenders and don’t qualify for private sector incubators nor for bank financing or other forms of investment, finding themselves trapped in our ecosystem’s “missing middle.” ICA works with these entrepreneurs throughout the 9 county San Francisco Bay Area, partnering with them to access resources, networks and capital to realize their full growth potential.
Creating the conditions under which good jobs are provided by employers is a pivotal anchor in community stability and wealth creation for individuals and their families. ICA has been a pioneer in identifying and articulating the conditions for small businesses to create good jobs. The organization’s work has continued to evolve and adapt to the changing world around us and we continue to respond to the needs of the communities we serve. This takes iteration and innovation.
And as we build on our model, we are committed to continuing to work along three critical trajectories:
Innovating through equity investments
In 2018 the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City reported that only 14% of its fastest-growing Inner City 100 companies have raised equity, and only 5% have raised equity from institutional investors, signaling a disconnect between the needs of many businesses and sources of equity. This reality, combined with our experience with growing small business, supports our belief that equity investments fill a significant gap in the small business funding ecosystem, and can better support the sustained growth of the businesses we serve.
ICA is committed to building a movement in creating parity in access to capital for ALL. This means our work has an explicit focus on groups that have historically been left out of the fair exchange of capital. To achieve this vision, we will be doing more to build partnerships with peers, lenders, and other organizations in the CDFI and broader small business finance ecosystems. By working together, we see an opportunity to lead the way in providing more equitable distributions of tailored capital to high-potential businesses. Together, we can make money move faster. And more fairly.
Our mission is possible because of our strong vision for change in the Bay Area economy. We believe economic growth should benefit all. This means acknowledging historical systems and present-day inequity, and working tirelessly to disrupt and demonstrate what solutions look like. Our work, and our ability to innovate, are needed now more than ever.
One of the biggest barriers to small business growth in the Bay Area is a lack of access to capital. ICA Fund Good Jobs sources fair, flexible capital from mission-aligned funding partners like the S.H. Cowell Foundation and J.P. Morgan Chase’s Entrepreneurs of Color Fund. We invest this growth capital in the high-potential companies we work with. The impact of these mission-related investments is compounded by the network effect they create, unlocking additional capital from other providers. By partnering with banks, other lenders, and institutional investors, the effects of our initial investments are magnified. In turn, companies like Red Bay Coffee, Back To The Roots, Firebrand Artisan Breads, and Onigilly translate their business successes into positive community impact. These successful companies reinvest time, money, and resources back into their Bay Area communities, creating good jobs and building economic freedom.
Funds Secured by ICA Fund Good Jobs Companies
Value of Pro Bono Advising
Capital Secured (Portfolio + Accelerator)
Thomas Sanford of the Back to the Roots team in the Back to the Roots test lab.
Companies Seeking Capital
Average Capital Need Secured
Companies that got all the Capital needed
Seed Fund Capital Deployed
Total Value of Investments
Additional Capital Leveraged
Total Value of Investment Portfolio Companies
Ratio of Additional Dollars Leveraged
The Good Jobs Accelerator is a tailored, holistic business advising program designed for high-potential, good-job-creating companies looking to scale their operations. Over the course of 6 months, Accelerator companies work under the leadership of Dianna Tremblay and leverage the expertise of our pro bono advisors and business support network. The Good Jobs Accelerator prepares each cohort of companies for growth, investment, and impact in the form of good job creation.
total revenues under management
Koji Kanematsu, owner of Onigilly, at Onigilly's flagship location in Palo Alto, CA.
Total Wages paid by Portfolio and Accelerator companies
Total Wages Paid by Portfolio and Accelerator Companies
Job Growth Year over Year
Average Employee Wage
Average Entry Level Wage
Revenues Under Management
Revenue Growth Rate Year over Year
Wage Growth Year over Year
Jobs Growth Rate Year over Year
Companies Owned by People of Color
Companies Owned by Women
Companies Owned by People of Color and Women
Companies with Majority People of Color and Women Managment Teams
Companies that Provide Benefits
Workers with Access to Benefits
After 23 years, one thing that is abundantly clear is that the challenges of urban entrepreneurship do not begin and end in downtown Oakland. The entire 9-County Bay Area is a regional economic ecosystem, and accordingly we must adjust the scope of our efforts. The methods and approaches we’ve developed have been honed in our Oakland laboratory, but the bold, audacious solutions to our multi-layered regional problems require a regional approach. In this as in our other efforts, we are committed to an organizational ethos of learning, growing and collaborating with strategic partners. In 2019 and beyond, we are excited to forge relationships with changemakers throughout our region so we can create the most impact and economic opportunity for the entrepreneurs and workers who call the Bay Area home.
Dale Boyer of Firebrand Artisan Breads outside of the Firebrand storefront in Oakland.
Companies Located in Oakland
Companies Located in San Francisco
Remaining 9-County Bay Area
Regional Partnerships Established
Business Ecosystem Organizations Engaged
Companies with Benefits
Percentage of Employees with Benefits
When our companies grow, their employees prosper. Through our advisor-led, entrepreneur-centric model, we work directly with small business owners to provide dedicated, tailored advising, acceleration coaching, and fair investment, so we can build economic freedom and create new wealth for those who need it most.
Total Revenues Under Management
Ana Ramirez molds pastries at Firebrand Artisan Breads in Oakland.
Total Revenues Under
Total Jobs Under
For more than 23 years, our work has depended on a robust network of pro bono advisors. Our expert advisors meet our entrepreneurs where they are at, and provide targeted advice that gets results and generates growth. In 2018 alone, our advisors provided 509 hours of pro bono advising and support to our entrepreneurs.
TOTAL PRO BONO ADVISING HOURS
Matt Kreutz, founder and owner of Firebrand Artisan Breads in Oakland.
Value of pro bono advising hours
Every dollar of advising yields
Every dollar of usable cash donations yields
of employee income
of portfolio and accelerator company revenue