Pacific Community Ventures envisions a world of thriving communities where everyone has a fair shake. Our mission is to invest in small businesses, create good jobs for working people, and make markets work for social good. We achieve our mission through a “Good Jobs, Good Business” model that combines affordable loans with pro-bono advising; our BusinessAdvising.org platform, impact measurement, evaluation and research; and tools and small grants to create good-quality jobs that address racial and gender wealth gaps. Pacific Community Ventures is a 501c3 nonprofit social enterprise and community development financial institution (CDFI).
Our founders connected the dots: small businesses are the engine of job creation in America, the heartbeat and character of our communities. The bakery that makes your favorite muffins, the store that sells those one-of-a-kind-shirts you love, the coffee shop you go to every weekend. That list goes on and on. Small businesses make your neighborhood, town, or city unique, but too many of them fail because they can’t access the resources they need to succeed. Pacific Community Ventures was an innovation that provided venture capital, mentorship, and networks to Main Street businesses looking to grow and create jobs.
Pacific Community Ventures was one of America’s first impact investors, insisting that you could invest in businesses in lower-income neighborhoods to generate positive social and environmental impact while also making a financial return. Over the last two decades we helped shepherd the growing impact investing movement, launching the Impact Investing Policy Collaborative, advising the GIIN on the first and subsequent sets of IRIS impact metrics, and in providing research support to the U.S. National Advisory Board on Impact Investing, the G8 Social Impact Investment Task Force, and the White House Impact Economy Summit.
Since our start, we’ve helped thousands of the small businesses who are the heartbeat and character of their communities grow and create tens of thousands of jobs in neighborhoods that need them most. We’ve worked with dozens of impact investors to use their dollars to re-shape investment markets and create supportive policies to better serve working families, our environment, and our local communities.
Our Theory of Change
We’ve been driven to empower small businesses and help impact investors more effectively invest in underserved communities since our founding in 1998. PCV has always had a theory of change to drive our work and strategy, and after evolving our mission in 2016 to more explicitly focus on creating quality jobs and rigorously measuring those results we decided to publish it for all to see. The ultimate success of any Theory of Change lies in its ability to demonstrate progress on the achievement of outcomes. For more than 20 years, we’ve impacted the lives of thousands of small business owners who have created and grown tens of thousands of jobs. We invested close to $100 million of capital and pro bono advising hours in quality-job-creating companies, and influenced a growing pool of tens of billions in impact investment capital supporting progress toward 15 of 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
About Our Work
Pacific Community Ventures does a lot of things: from investing in small businesses to consulting with impact investors to our national business advising platform. How do all of these programs work together? And how do they collectively create better-quality jobs for working people across the country? This handy video explains it all!
We at Pacific Community Ventures try to live our values in our work and in our daily lives. As an organization, our values are:
- We come from a place of yes
- We live our mission
- We are open and transparent
- We seek collaboration
- We act with empathy