By: Charles Fisher-Post, Associate Director, Good Jobs Innovation Lab
Pacific Community Ventures (PCV) is thrilled to announce the launch of our very first Good Jobs Entrepreneurs Fellowship! The program is designed to bring together a cohort of 14 outstanding PCV clients who have demonstrated a commitment to providing their employees with high-quality jobs towards racial and gender wealth building outcomes. Over the course of the 12-week fellowship, PCV and small business entrepreneurs will co-create collateral to guide other small business owners on good job creation. Through facilitated discussions, surveys, and peer networking, the fellows will share feedback about their own experience, success stories, and challenges they faced. PCV is also curating findings from their voices about their needs and experiences. This evidence base will serve as a guide for other small business employers.
Our collective goal is to collaboratively design an actionable plan that small business owners can take to implement various attributes such as employer-subsidized healthcare, 10+ days of PTO, stable schedules, and more, towards becoming providers of high-quality jobs. Join us in celebrating this exciting initiative towards creating better jobs for all.
The 14 small business owners whose outstanding achievements in providing high quality jobs that we celebrate in this Fellowship include:
- Fernando Diaz, Proyecto Diaz Coffee
- Jen Musty, Batter Bakery
- Jerome Chang, Blankspaces
- Krystell Guzman, La Plazita Preschool
- Lila Owens, Cupcakin’ Bake Shop
- Liza Anongchanya, Azil Boutique & Ofina Jewelry
- Mallory Fore, Mobileweld Inc.
- Reem Assil, Reem’s
- Roozbeh Farahanipour, Delphi Greek
- Sadie Scheffer, Bread SRSLY
- Sam Ghasemian, MiMiz Daycare
- Sarah Kersten, Sarah Kersten Studio
- Shane Matthews, The Snug SF
- Trevor Parham, Oakstop
Every one of these entrepreneurs provides their full-time employees subsidized health insurance and at least 2 weeks of paid time off. In addition, among various other attributes each of these business owners provides to workers, 78% provide financial incentives for performance – including three that offer ownership stakes or profit-sharing – four provide contributions to employee retirement plans, and 100% provide annual performance reviews to their workers. Together they represent seven different NAICS sectors, with 64% BIPOC-identifying and 64% identifying as women, and their businesses range from employing 4 to employing more than 50 workers.
While we celebrate our Good Jobs Entrepreneurs as outliers among small business employers, the purpose of our collaboration is ultimately to make their examples the norm. After all, while small businesses – particularly the smallest-sized employers – disproportionately struggle more than larger employers in terms of the quality of the jobs that they are able to offer, PCV’s own research suggests that this is due to a lack of access to adequate funding and right-size solutions for their business as opposed to any disinclination to invest in employees.
Gaining a clearer understanding from our fellows around how they began to offer different job quality attributes to their workers, with the right access to capital or advising at key times in their journey; at what points in their business trajectory, in what sequence, and what they learned from doing so, will help us to pinpoint the right approaches for peer small business owners at different stages in their growth trajectories and good jobs journeys.
Perhaps even more important than how our fellows went about providing high quality jobs is understanding why they chose to do so. Research has demonstrated that employers that provide high quality jobs to workers experience long-term benefits to their bottom lines for reasons including increased employee retention, reduced costs due to turnover, and increased productivity. However, much of this research has centered on medium and large-sized employers, as well as businesses in specific industries like retail. It is reasonable to expect that similar long-term bottom line benefits from investing in providing quality jobs would accrue to small-sized employers regardless of industry if they are able to attract and retain highly productive employees.
Further, from our own recent listening sessions with clients, we have heard that there are powerful motives, like the freedom over one’s own time and tasks, as well as the ability to serve a wider community, that compel small business owners to run their own firms beyond simply trying to achieve the highest possible profits. Gaining a better understanding of why our Good Jobs Entrepreneurs were able to pursue offering high quality jobs, and what they gained and learned from the investments – as well as learning about any negative externalities – can help us continue to better make the case for investing in job quality for the small business owners with fewer than 100 workers currently employing more than 21 million workers across the U.S.
To ensure a comprehensive understanding of job quality, we are surveying 40 workers as part of our Good Jobs Entrepreneurs Fellowship. Each entrepreneur nominated 5 employees to provide their perspective on job quality topics. These workers are completing 12 surveys over the course of three months in parallel with the fellows to provide their perspective on weekly topics related to job quality, such as the availability of career growth opportunities, the importance of a fair-and-engaging workplace, and employee compensation.
The Good Jobs Entrepreneurs Fellowship program is a product of more than a decade of PCV’s work in the job quality field – and 25 years as an impact-first community investor. Highlights include:
- In 2016 we published Moving Beyond Job Creation, offering the first definition of job quality for the CDFI industry.
- In 2018 we added a quality jobs clause to all of our small business loan agreements, offering our borrowers loan rebates for improvements they make in each of 13 distinct attributes we track pertaining to the quality of jobs employers offer their workers.
- We also launched the open-access Good Jobs, Good Business toolkit as a free resource for small business owners to see the business case for improving job quality and find advice on how to get started in 6 different areas of job quality: Employee Compensation, Scheduling + Paid Leave, Hiring + Professional Development, Employee Engagement, Health Benefits, and Retirement + Wealth Building.
To commemorate our 25th anniversary, we invite you to join us in our efforts. There are several ways you can get involved: