2017 Impact Report
2016 was a record year for our organization. Now, in order to build on our momentum, we must double down on our mission. By being responsive to the real time needs of entrepreneurs, we have learned a lot about what tools are most effective, and where we need to be better.
We are positioned to double down on our track record and learn in a bigger way how education, acceleration, and investment can influence the quality of jobs created by small businesses and the people who ultimately have access to those jobs.
In 2016, we served more than 140 entrepreneurs through educational offerings like Path 2 Cash, Growth Strategies, and Start Up Strategies. We also launched our first ever Good Jobs Accelerator. An evolution of the pro bono advisory work we have done with entrepreneurs for two decades, it is the first accelerator specifically designed to create good jobs. Moreover, by leveraging a more structured service model, our dedicated pro bono advisors increased the time they spent supporting entrepreneurs by nearly 30%.
We are proud to see the tremendous growth of our very first investment company, Back to the Roots, which closed a $10 million Series A investment round in 2016. Through catalytic partnerships, Back to the Roots has brought its wholesome, simple cereals and educational gardening kits to millions of students across the country.
We achieved a record revenue year for ICA Fund Good Jobs, and established important relationships with partners dedicated to our learning, innovation, and growth, like The James Irvine Foundation and The F.B. Heron Foundation. One of our highlights from 2016 was bringing together more than 1,000 community supporters together at the historic 16th Street Station in West Oakland for 20/20, a celebration of our 20-year history and our collective commitment to creating good jobs in the Bay Area.
We are humbled that together with our partners, funders, pro bono advisors, and entrepreneurs, we are creating vibrancy and economic value in the place we call home. Oakland has been our innovation lab, where we have tested market solutions and enlisted the support of unlikely partners to build a more inclusive economy. Leveraging what we have learned here, we are ready to go deeper throughout the nine-county Bay Area and broaden our influence in California and across the country.
The lessons we have learned along the way are part of a larger puzzle, and we are grateful for those who have committed to learning alongside us.
It’s an honor to do this work, and, now more than ever, we know we need to stick together, learn together, and drive the mission forward.