Reflections On SOCAP 2017

Lena BackeImpact Investing, InSight, PCV News

SOCAP17

In early October, Pacific Community Ventures had the opportunity to engage with panels at SOCAP in all capacities – as moderators, speakers, and attendees. SOCAP, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year with a record gathering of 3,000 attendees, is the “largest impact investing capital markets gathering in the world.” As an organization with both a small business lending program and an impact investing consulting practice, we were eager to share our insights as well as learn from innovators in the Bay Area and across the world. Needless to say, we packed a lot of learning into four days. Here are our 6 top takeaways: The current political climate is creating a sense of urgency that’s driving a booming interest in the impact investing industry. Panelists and attendees alike emphasized that the general public no longer believes we can necessarily rely on the government to solve our problems and address … Read More

PCV and Opportunity Fund Have Joined Forces

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

small business loans and advice san jose

America’s leading nonprofit small business lender and mentoring platform join forces for Santa Clara County entrepreneurs, supported by $600,000 grant from Google.org   Pacific Community Ventures and Opportunity Fund are excited to announce a new collaboration funded by Google.org through a $600,000 grant. Their grant will help 150 small business owners in Santa Clara County access the funding and business advice they need to grow their businesses, create jobs, and support the local economy. Through the partnership, Opportunity Fund – the nation’s leading non-profit small business lender and a Google Impact Challenge finalist in 2014 – will connect the businesses it has funded in Silicon Valley to the award-winning network of advisors run by Pacific Community Ventures. The majority of businesses supported through the partnership will be minority-owned, women-owned, and immigrant-owned enterprises, reflecting the rich diversity of Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial community that includes underserved small business owners who are often … Read More

Announcing The Impact Due Diligence Initiative

Patrick DugganImpact Investing, InSight, PCV News

Impact Due Diligence Initiative

PCV is 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 investors to determine whether reported social and environmental performance is good or … 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 BusinessAdvising.org 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