Good morning PCV community members,
Last month I was invited to join President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at “Economic Inclusion and Growth: The Way Forward,” a conference on the future of the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) movement, at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock. It emphasized the need for a collective effort to drive action and help financial growth partners scale impact; address the income gap and racial wealth disparities; and better support underserved communities, small businesses, and entrepreneurs.
The conference was being held as the CDFI movement marks its 25th anniversary. CDFIs like PCV have been instrumental in creating good jobs, strengthening small business, and creating affordable housing across America. I was honored to speak to the audience about how we’re scaling our BusinessAdvising.org platform nationally through strategic partnerships to serve over 1,500 small business owners in the U.S. next year.
BusinessAdvising.org connects entrepreneurs with free, expert business advisors on any topic, from financial management to marketing, including support to create quality jobs and increase wealth building in their communities. PCV is now offering this platform to other CDFIs, investors, accelerators, mayors offices, and organizations working with small and growing businesses. One such partnership is with ICIC, with whom we piloted in 6 cities last year. 50% of entrepreneurs in the pilot increased revenue, and 52% created jobs. PCV will be scaling with ICIC nationally to offer BA with their bootcamp in all 14 cities nationwide in 2020.
This is just one of the ways that PCV is working to create good jobs for working people. I also told the audience about our new Good Jobs Good Business toolkit, an entrepreneur-centric platform to help business owners create good jobs in their small and growing businesses in ways that also boost their bottom line and increase retention rates. We were excited to see PCV and Good Jobs, Good Business profiled as a case study by the Boston Federal Reserve in their latest paper, “How Forward-Looking Investors Can Incentivize the Creation of Quality Jobs.”
To emphasize the importance of mentorship and keep the conversation centered on the business owners themselves who are creating jobs and growing their community’s wealth, I attended the event with PCV clients Ariana of Nzilani Glass Conservation, Courtney of Courtsmith Basketball, and Lila of Cupcakin Bakeshop.
Ariana said, “Attending the conference as a recipient of a CDFI loan from Pacific Community Ventures, I left revitalized and invigorated by what was discussed. I left motivated to continue my own outreach and service to those in my community in addition to growing Nzilani Glass Conservation.”
Lila told us, “Learning about the origin and growth of CDFIs made me feel like I’m a part of a community rooted in values rather than just the bottom line. Now I only want to work with CDFIs! So glad I got connected with Pacific Community Ventures. I’m grateful that my business is backed by an organization that aligns with my core values.”
And Courtney said, “It was a great experience! I learned an incredible amount about the origin, scope and mission of CDFIs and the people behind them who are dedicated to moving that needle forward. It was FIRE.”
As a woman of color who grew up an immigrant daughter of entrepreneurs, and saw the challenges of raising capital, and started my own career in microfinance in Asia, I’m proud to be the new CEO of Pacific Community Ventures, advancing our work creating good jobs and helping communities to thrive.
This season of giving, you can help us empower entrepreneurs like Ariana, Courtney, and Lila to create good jobs and new opportunities. $500 enables PCV to support one Business Advising engagement for a full year. Every donation helps us achieve our mission. Want to double your impact? See if your organization does matching gifts for employees donating to nonprofits.
Thank you for your support!
President & CEO, Pacific Community Ventures