Nearly 5 million Californians—over 13% of the state’s population—have incomes below the federal poverty level. In 2005, more than half the jobs in the California economy provided full-time, year-round wages that were insufficient to support an adequate standard of living. And, while the state’s unemployment rate is down, the jobs being created tend to pay lower wages than jobs lost. Within this economic context, Pacific Community Ventures (PCV), California’s first community development venture capital organization, has pioneered and demonstrated an approach to economic development that provides competitive financial returns to investors as it creates quality jobs and an economic climate for growth likely to generate future investment opportunities in underserved markets and low and moderate income (LMI) communities.
PCV’s cornerstone program, the Business Advisory Service, attracts high-level, talented individuals from the business world as volunteers. These Advisors, who become part of PCV’s expanding network, help dynamic small businesses improve their capacity for growth. PCV also strives to create “mindset shifts” for Advisors and Advisees by building relationships across communities and teaching small businesses to seek outside advice and support.
Over the years, CalPERS has developed a number of unique investment strategies designed to target economically underserved segments of the State of California. In May 2001, the CalPERS Investment Committee established the California Initiative Program. Through the California Initiative, the CalPERS Investment Committee approved $475 million of commitments which were allocated to ten private equity funds and earmarked for investment in “traditionally underserved markets primarily, but not exclusively, located in California.” Through the California Initiative, CalPERS committed capital to nine private equity funds and one fund-of-funds. A complete list of California Initiative investment partners is provided on the back of this report.
We are pleased to report that Pacific Community Ventures had a very good year in 2005. We celebrated an outstanding Double Bottom Line success of our equity investment model. We experienced tremendous growth in both the scope and reach of our Business Advisory Service. And we expanded significantly our Workforce Development programs. In summary, 2005 was a year of growth and high impact.
Companies financed by PCV are committed to hiring individuals from LMI communities. Between April 2000 and December 2004, PCV financed portfolio companies employed a cumulative total of 1,173 designated employees. Throughout the course of 2004, 543 designated employees worked in the eight active PCV financed businesses in a range of skilled and semi-skilled positions. Designated employee positions include but are not limited to jobs such as driver, butcher, bag sewer, shipping/receiving clerk, sprinkler fitter and administrator.
2004 was a growth year for Pacific Community Ventures (PCV) marked by expansion of our services and investments throughout California. Over the past six years, Pacific Community Ventures has seen powerful results from its unique model for community development that utilizes the tools of business for social change. Our two private equity funds provide a rare source of capital for small to medium-sized companies whose growth has the potential to create significant economic gains for low-income communities across California. In 2004, we committed over $2 million to two new portfolio businesses (New Key Financial and Beacon Fire & Safety). Our current financed portfolio reflects nearly $10 million of investment in eight active companies. Through our nonprofit services, Pacific Community Ventures has matched nearly 60 small businesses with over 75 volunteer business advisors since 1999. PCV’s volunteer advisors guide small business managers through the company development process, providing high-level advice and … Read More
PCV is a double bottom line investor, working to achieve social as well as financial returns on its investments. PCV believes that clear, ongoing measurement is critical to articulating the impact of its work. As there are no “industry standards” for measuring and reporting on social return, PCV has developed its own standards and methodology for measuring the impact of its investments.
2003 was a particularly exciting and active year at Pacific Community Ventures. We deployed $4 million to four growing companies. One of these investments was in our first Southern California portfolio business. Located near Los Angeles, Radiovisa is a producer and national syndicator of Spanish language radio programs and services targeting Hispanics of Mexican origin. During 2003, our business advisory services continued to thrive. We established new partnerships and conducted numerous forums and roundtables. Additionally, this year, we expanded our measurement and analysis of our social impact. With help from BTW Consultants and our portfolio businesses, we conducted our first portfolio business employee survey and heard directly from employees about their perspectives and experiences.
In the last twenty years, the United States has lost over 3 million manufacturing jobs — 56,000 in June 2003 alone. For those workers who still have jobs, many are not being paid enough to live. The value of the current minimum wage, $5.15, is 21% less than it was in 1979. In the context of these economic conditions, the need for bold and innovative action has never been clearer.