Announcing The Impact Due Diligence Initiative

Patrick DugganImpact Investing, InSight, PCV News

Impact Due Diligence Initiative

PCV, in partnership with Bridges Fund Management and the Impact Management Project, are excited to announce the launch of the Impact Due Diligence Initiative. This project will identify best practices in impact due diligence, which we’ll build into a free, practical toolkit for investors across sectors – including foundations, faith-based organizations, CDFIs, equity fund managers, institutional investors, and others – seeking to assess the expected social impact of their investments but who may not know where to start. The impact investing industry has been focused primarily on assessing the social and environmental impacts of investments after capital has been deployed. Through PCV’s research and consulting engagements with numerous investors across geographies, asset classes, and impact themes over the past 10+ years, we’ve learned that the social and environmental performance reported by financed companies to investors has, in many cases, little to no influence on investment decisions. Why? First, it’s difficult for … Read More

We’ve Won A 2017 CDFI Fund Award

Patrick DugganPCV News, Small Business Loans

CDFI Fund award

Great news! We’re excited to announce that Pacific Community Ventures has been awarded a 2017 CDFI Fund award, to support our programs delivering capital to small businesses across California that create good jobs for working people and build community wealth from the bottom up. In 2016, the small businesses in our lending program grew revenues by 20% on average (vs. 8% for comparable businesses) and saw 73% job growth (vs. 2% for comparable businesses).   We’re a nonprofit lender that provides fair and affordable small business loans from $10,000 to $200,000 to California businesses. Our loans help small business owners like thrive and be successful. In addition to quarterly meetings with a pro bono financial advisor, PCV small business loan borrowers  also get free tailored business advice from our program’s pool of 500+ experts in any area they need, like marketing, business strategy, or sales.  If you’re a California company … Read More

We’ve Been Awarded An Aspen Institute Quality Jobs Fellowship!

Patrick DugganPCV News, Quality Jobs

Quality Jobs fellowship

We’re thrilled to announce that Pacific Community Ventures and our President and CEO — Mary Jo Cook — were chosen as one of 15 fellows by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program to more deeply engage in work that expands the availability of better quality jobs in our economy.  Americans place a high value on work, and believe hard work should offer a pathway to economic security. But decades of lagging wages, eroding benefits, and declining employment security means too many jobs do not match that vision of work as a pathway to a better life. To restore the ideal of work as the pathway to the American Dream, our economy needs more quality jobs. “Now is the time to focus on making better quality jobs,” said Maureen Conway, vice president for policy programs and executive director of the Economic Opportunities Program at the Aspen Institute. “That’s why we’re launching the Job Quality Fellowship. It … Read More

We Need Your Small Business’ Voice

Patrick DugganPCV News, Quality Jobs, Small Business Advising And Mentoring, Small Business Loans

quality jobs survey

Here at Pacific Community Ventures, we’ve seen firsthand though our work with small businesses that job creation alone is insufficient to create lasting economic change in underserved communities and for working people. We view the advancement of quality jobs as an important avenue to better support underserved communities and address rising income and wealth inequality across the U.S. As part of our vision to make quality job creation the norm, we must equip small businesses with the practical tools and resources they need to offer higher quality jobs in a way that balances their business’ financial and operational needs with their employees’ interests. We’re committed to empowering small business owners to succeed – and believe a simple, practical quality jobs toolkit will help them to improve job quality for their workers, thereby reducing turnover, improving productivity and revenue, and boosting brand reputation. In order to create a resource that meets … Read More

PCV Reaffirms Our Support For The Small Business Borrower’s Bill of Rights

Patrick DugganPCV News, Small Business Loans

small business borrower bill of rights

We work with small business owners who have a dream, but who don’t have big built-in networks or access to enormous sums of capital. For example, the fastest-growing group of Americans starting new ventures is African-American women. But you’d never know that based on where the money is going.  Sarah Kersten Studio in Berkeley has been manufacturing heirloom-quality ceramics for Bay Area consumers and restaurants for the past four years. Sales have increased steadily, as has their popularity with major San Francisco restaurants like Frances and Octavia. As a growing small business, owner Sarah was having trouble accessing traditional sources of capital to expand her inventory. Her company didn’t meet the guidelines of most mainstream lenders, so Sarah had to look for an alternative lender. Pacific Community Ventures was able to provide Sarah a loan with an affordable rate. Sarah’s story is the story for thousands of California small businesses. … Read More

Advisor Appreciation and Networking Event

Patrick DugganPCV News, Small Business Advising And Mentoring, Small Business Resources

advisor mixer

Pacific Community Ventures is excited to invite you to our first Advisor Appreciation & Networking Event! Our advisors are the heart of our small business mentoring program, and all of our program’s success is due to your commitment to see small businesses across America succeed. This night is all about you! We want to show our appreciation for the time and talent you continue to donate, and to provide a long-requested opportunity for our advisors to network with each other. Please join us: Thursday, May 25 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm 25 Lusk 25 Lusk Street, San Francisco, CA 94107 Light fare and drink tickets will be provided We’ll host a brief program sharing the impact your advice made on our small business community in 2016, a raffle featuring products from advised small businesses — and most of the evening is reserved for you to network with each other.   Thank … Read More

PCV Receives Grant from Aspen Institute to Create Quality Jobs Toolkits for Retail Small Businesses

Patrick DugganPCV News, Quality Jobs

reimagine retail quality jobs

The Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program announced today that it has awarded a grant $200,000 to Pacific Community Ventures to take part in Reimagine Retail, a project made possible through a $5.5 million grant awarded by the Walmart Foundation to the Aspen Institute in 2016. Over a two-year period, Pacific Community Ventures will engage retail employers and explore strategies to improve job quality and support advancement for retail workers. Workforce development organizations, retail businesses, and other partners have potential to collaborate to improve the quality of jobs for workers in entry-level positions, create pathways for advancement in retail and related sectors, and increase employee engagement, productivity, and retention. To explore open questions about how to expand opportunities for working people, leaders in these fields will need to build capacity, experiment with new and innovative strategies, and learn from their experiences. Through Reimagine Retail, the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program (EOP), … Read More

Thriving Small Businesses Means A Thriving Bay Area

Patrick DugganPCV News, Small Business Advising And Mentoring, Small Business Loans, Small Business Resources

bay area small business cdfi

Picture a few of your favorite small and independent businesses. Maybe you love stopping by Equator Coffee or Boba Guys on the way into work, shopping at Benny Gold or Heath Ceramics, working out at The Dailey Method, or sitting down at Brown Sugar Kitchen and hoping a few Warriors grab the table next to you. Now what if I told you that without a small handful of government programs, many of your favorite places might not exist? The so-called “Skinny Budget” cuts funding for several successful bi-partisan small business programs that helped launch and grow tens of thousands of small businesses across the Bay Area – and hundreds of thousands across America. It cuts $42 million from Small Business Administration programs aimed at new job creation; $32 million from programs that help people of color start companies and hire more employees; and completely eliminates the Community Development Financial Institution … Read More

Our Business Advising Program Is Now In All 50 States!

Patrick DugganPCV News, Small Business Advising And Mentoring

small business advice mentoring coaching

We’re thrilled to announce that our small business mentoring program is now serving small businesses in all 50 states. It’s been an amazing three years, bring small business mentoring from a regional program in San Francisco to every corner of America empowering small business owners to increase their competitiveness while at the same time creating quality jobs and stronger communities. A major thank you to all the advisors who give their time and expertise in our program. With your support, we’ve grown the program to greater heights that have enabled us to empower small businesses in a plethora of industries and sizes across the country. None of this would be possible without you! We also want to thank our many partners and supporters, like Capital One, The Super Bowl, and Accion.  In 2016, the small businesses who worked with a pro bono advisor from saw their revenues … Read More

PCV President & CEO Mary Jo Cook Awarded 2017 Opportunity Fellow

Patrick DugganPCV News

OFN Opportunity Fellow

Congratulations to our own Mary Jo Cook! After an intense competition and rigorous selection process, Opportunity Finance Network has chosen 25 outstanding leaders from CDFIs across the country who will join their inaugural class of Opportunity Fellows. Representing different levels of leadership experience, these Fellows hail from all corners of the country, with one thing very much in common: They are committed to addressing inequities in capital to the underserved community through their work with CDFIs, which are critical engines of opportunity in these communities. The Opportunity Fellows Program is a leadership program for our industry, which will train a diverse cohort of CDFI leaders to lead transformational change and address inequities in access to capital in underserved communities. Through the program, Fellows will develop the skills and perspective to innovate toward the vision of opportunity for all, and facilitate greater equity and inclusion for racially and ethnically diverse communities. “This … Read More