The Good Jobs Creation Model

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We celebrate our 20th anniversary during a pivotal moment in the history of our region. The Bay Area is experiencing exponential growth in population and wealth.
Colleen Orlando, co-founder of Firebrand Artisan Breads.

Colleen Orlando, co-founder of Firebrand Artisan Breads.

At the root of every good job is a good employer – an entrepreneur committed to investing in their employees and their community. ICA Fund Good Jobs creates good employers by educating, accelerating, and investing in mission-aligned entrepreneurs who are committed to becoming change agents in their communities.

We Educate: 

Growth is not a strategy. Growth takes strategy. 

Our entrepreneurs are experts in their craft, hustling daily to roll out the Bay Area’s very best products and services. The work of ICA Fund Good Jobs begins by helping these entrepreneurs take the necessary time out of working IN their business so that they can focus on working ON their business.

Our signature Growth Strategies course is taught by Michael C. Bush, a serial entrepreneur and the CEO of A Great Place to Work Institute. The course takes academic business concepts and boils them down to practical tools that entrepreneurs can implement immediately. Meanwhile, tailored workshops provide one-on-one advising throughout the year for smaller cohorts of companies seeking support in raising capital, building strong teams, or beginning to think about their growth strategy.

These offerings are powerful tools for community building. The companies that have participated in our classes and workshops often remain in the family for years, networking with other entrepreneurs, receiving ongoing informal support, or, for a select few, working with ICA Fund Good Jobs in deeper ways. This networked approach to learning allows us to make connections between our companies and workforce development partners that amplify the impact of our work. We are proud to work with agencies like The Bread Project, Youth Radio, Swords to Ploughshares, St. Vincent de Paul, Beyond Emancipation, and others to ensure that new jobs are accessible to those who need them most. 

We Accelerate: 

Our network of high-caliber pro bono business advisors has been the foundation of our organization’s success over the past 20 years. Our advisory offerings are what truly set us apart, and we are excited to go even deeper. ICA Fund Good Jobs is proud to announce the launch of the Good Jobs Accelerator in 2016. The Accelerator works deeply with companies to build a strong foundation for sustainable growth and good job creation. The businesses we invite to the Accelerator will develop focused strategies to increase their company’s mission returns as well as financial returns. Leveraging our network of expert pro bono advisors, Accelerator companies receive the resources they need to create good jobs. 

The Back to the Roots team at the company’s Oakland, CA headquarters. 

The Back to the Roots team at the company’s Oakland, CA headquarters. 

This work will ultimately reward entrepreneurs for making decisions that benefit their employees and community. The foundation of our approach helps our companies proactively plan for good job creation, recruit new employees, and develop internal leadership. Simultaneously, we help entrepreneurs identify the amount and type of capital they need to raise to achieve their goals, and the obstacles they must overcome to secure it.

We Invest: 

“Betting on people who build people” 

is a mantra our whole team takes to heart. The entrepreneurs most aligned with our values and most poised for scale receive capital investments tailored to their individual needs. The small business sector suffers from a lack of access to growth capital. Therefore, we believe in using capital as a tool to meet this pressing need and to influence the creation of good jobs.

Since the establishment of our investment fund in 2013, ICA Fund Good Jobs has invested $2M of growth capital in five Oakland-based businesses. As a result, we have witnessed the creation of dozens of jobs, and the establishment of community pillars that are redefining what it means to be a successful small business in the Bay Area.

This work is only possible because of capital partners that are willing to co-invest in deals that would not happen without the support of ICA Fund Good Jobs. Allies like Signature Development Group, New Resource Bank, Whole Foods’ Local Producer Loan Program, Pacific Community Ventures, Community Reinvestment Fund, and many others ensure that every dollar invested by ICA Fund Good Jobs is magnified for the greatest impact.