ICA Fund Good Jobs educates, accelerates and invests in small businesses in order to create accessible good jobs that lead to equitable communities for all. We serve mission aligned businesses with a focus on women owned businesses and/or people of color.
Our Definition of Entrepreneurship
To us an entrepreneur is an innovator who runs a small business and assumes all the risk and reward of their given business. They are focused on being the one to grow their business in a holistic way – focusing on people, growth, and capital strategies to ensure the overall health of their biz. They see their responsibility to the community as creating good jobs and consider people who have historically had barriers to employment for jobs. At least this is the entrepreneur we serve and feel this entrepreneur is in alignment with our mission.
What makes us different is that we are a lean staff but we talk to every entrepreneur who contacts us and try to identify all the ways we can be supportive in that initial call. As an organization, we are strongly focused on building relationships. We feel it takes time to build trust and like to create trust by being helpful to the entrepreneur at every phase of growth. We have been talking to some of our companies for over 10 years.
We steward and foster relationships between a diverse group of Workforce partners and our companies so that the businesses we support have a strong pipeline of candidates when hiring. We offer education classes that are “prac-ademic” information and tools they can start to use in their biz immediately. We offer a strong network of Professional Service providers that offer a discount to our businesses as well as over 50 high caliber pro-bono Advisors who offer their time and services to ICA Fund Good Jobs’ companies. We are very much into keeping our companies engaged and offer events with a value-add in order to foster the peer-to-peer network that naturally comes out of our Education cohorts.
We are a learning organization and we are very conscious of improving/changing what is not working and strengthening the things that are within the organization. We have served many businesses over the years in a more formal way through our fund and accelerator. Our support can be linked to many jobs created YOY. The businesses in our portfolio have an average rev of 3.9 Million, $19.98 as average wage, and revenue growth at 37% YOY.
Having said that we are always trying to see how we can work with other technical assistant providers so that we are offering something that busy entrepreneurs really need to grow their biz and no reproducing education that is already being successfully offered by a partner org. We are highly conscious and respectful of their time. Sourcing candidates can be time consuming. Because our touch if highly personal, we feel it is important to talk with the people we want in our classes directly rather than putting them on a list where they only get information via email. This can sometimes work against us because of capacity.
Our Initiative Goals
- To represent each other’s websites as partners or in some other way.
- To work together to understand the quality programming our students need and how we can play to each org’s strengths and have a strong referral program/agreement in place.
- Share what’s working in orgs and what’s not so we can have peer-to-peer guidance.