Summary

Launched
2022
Estimated duration
3 Years
Estimated total value
$5,000,000.00
Regions
Northern America
Locations
United States
Partners
African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs, Allen Blue, Appalachian Community Capital, Ares Management, Bank of America Foundation, Battery Powered, CNote - Wisdom Fund, Ebay Foundation, Financial Health Network, Found/LA, James Irvine Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co Kaiser Permanente, LISC, MacArthur Foundation - Catalytic Capital Consortium, New World Foundation Quality Jobs Fund, Prosperity Now, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, Small Business Majority Foundation

Good Jobs Innovation Lab

Summary

In 2022, Pacific Community Ventures (PCV) committee to launch the Good Jobs Innovation Lab to drive intergenerational wealth for small business, entrepreneurs of color, women, immigrants, and refugees through the power of a good job. PCV will build a small business ecosystem that leverages data analytics and behavioral economic theory for program innovation, centers entrepreneur voice through a Good Jobs Fellows Program, and deploys scalable products that promote wealth-building opportunities and economic advancement for BIPOC entrepreneurs and their employees. As a national leader in defining and advocating for quality jobs, PCV’s work will ultimately help to influence data-driven policies and impact investing towards greater racial equity to expand economic opportunity for historically underestimated entrepreneurs.

Approach

PCV’s Good Jobs Innovation Lab (the “Lab”) , launching in Q3 2022, will identify evidence-based capital and mentorship innovations, design dedicated client journeys, and influence evidence-driven policies and impact investing practices to address the need for quality jobs in small businesses. The objective is to create a small business ecosystem that promotes wealth-building opportunities and economic advancement, allowing BIPOC entrepreneurs and their workers to build back better. The commitment of the Lab is to co-design research and product development with, by, and for the communities PCV serves through programs like the Good Jobs Fellows program. This program will be a cohort of Good Jobs creators from PCV’s lending clients that will help improve the design and delivery of their unique capital + advising approach through the entrepreneur’s experiences implementing job quality improvements. PCV will take these learnings to lead the dialogue with other entrepreneurs, CDFIs and

policymakers on how to deliver job quality-focused products, policies, and services that center the entrepreneur’s experience–particularly entrepreneurs of color, women, immigrants, and refugees. Through their research, innovation, and culturally-competent advising platform, PCV will create grounded thought leadership, practical technical assistance resources and learning communities that help more community-driven investors and CDFIs nationwide improve quality job creation among their own clients. As the Lab sees measurable impact outcomes from specific interventions (e.g. businesses, policymakers and communities supporting, high-impact job quality improvements) , PCV is ready to scale these data-driven insights and resources. Their impact measurements can lead to climate and clean energy job creation – and related workforce development initiatives in the smallest businesses that are necessary partners for achieving the goal of keeping warming below 2 degrees Celsius. PCV’s vision is an economy that continually generates wealth-building opportunities from the bottom up and the middle out.

Action Plan

In the first two quarters, PCV will perform critical analysis, design, and testing within PCV’s existing services and Good Jobs platform to ensure they optimize impact outcomes out of their Phase 1 place-based programs. This includes qualitative and quantitative analysis of their existing programming (e.g. Good Jobs lending rebates/micro-grants, Expert Business Advising cohorts, and the Good Jobs toolkit) , gathering insight on outcomes and adoption, and refining their services to improve job quality outcomes within their small business. In the next two quarters, PCV will work on the recruitment and training of their Good Jobs Advisors (within their BusinessAdvising.org platform) to be able to meet the needs of their own and other CDFIs’ clients looking to improve the quality of their jobs through 1:1 mentorship. In the second year, PCV will form the Good Jobs Fellows program with a cohort that will co-develop the best products and services for improving job quality in small businesses, taking into account entrepreneurs’

motivations, financial situations and lived experiences with inequity. The first two quarters of year 2 will be assembling the Fellows and designing the program. The last two quarters of year 2 will be engaging with the Fellows to refine PCV’s Good Jobs programming. During this time, PCV will be testing new interventions based on the research provided by the Good Jobs Fellows. As their research and product development refines their interventions, PCV will build scalable products that CDFIs and other impact investors can replicate in their own lending and technical assistance programming. PCV will facilitate learning roundtables, white papers, technical assistance, and policy advocacy to help small business owners across the country gain the culturally competent capital, advising, and policy supports to lift up their communities through critical job quality improvements for themselves and their workers.

Background

COVID-19 catalyzed monumental socio-economic shifts in the U.S. While millions lost their jobs in 2020, 2021 also had a record number of new business applications. Black and Brown small business owners are the fastest growing group of new entrepreneurs, especially Black and Latinx women, yet they lack access to capital and mentorship at exceedingly high rates. The pandemic emphasized how communities of color heavily represented in frontline services also disproportionately lack access to health benefits, paid leave, and other wealth-building opportunities. Nearly 60% of low-wage workers in the U.S. work at small businesses with fewer than 100 employees (Urban Institute, 2007) , and over 50 million, disproportionately women of color, make less than $15/hour (Oxfam America, 2022) . At the same time, small businesses face costly barriers attracting and retaining workers due to lack of growth capital, HR talent, or ability to affordably provide attractive benefits. Services rendered by businesses in communities of color are essential infrastructure for equitable and inclusive recovery. Impact investors must ensure entrepreneurs can improve the health, financial security, and wellbeing of their workers–and themselves. This is necessary to rebuild wealth in communities of color–the same areas where half of Black wealth was decimated in the early years of the post Great Recession recovery. The opportunity to act is now–to support small business owners with the capital and advising they need to grow resilient businesses, and to pair it with new knowledge-building tools and community resources that support their hiring and creation of good jobs that build generational wealth in their community. The shift to the “next normal” is a critical opportunity for impact-first community investors to shape a more inclusive recovery that builds back better and mitigates another decimation of Black and Brown wealth in the US.

Progress Update

Good Jobs Entrepreneur Fellows and Thought Leadership

The Good Jobs Innovation Lab launched its inaugural Good Jobs Entrepreneurs Fellowship, bringing together 14 outstanding PCV clients with a demonstrated commitment to providing employees with high-quality jobs for racial and gender wealth building. Through facilitated discussions, surveys, and peer networking, PCV and the entrepreneurs will co-create actionable plans and collateral that small business owners can use to implement various attributes (e.g. employer-subsidized healthcare, 10+ days of PTO, and stable schedules) . And as part of the Lab’s objective of creating thought leadership and learning spaces for community-driven investors, PCV launched the webinar series called “Lessons from the Good Jobs Innovation Lab”. The first webinar shared interim learnings as the Lab benchmarked PCV’s entire portfolio to its new Impact Underwriting and Rating Tool. Participants gained insights into the Lab’s efforts to measure and advance impact-first capital deployment. The next webinar in the series will focus on Good and Green jobs.

Good and Green Jobs Initiative

With the urgency of climate change and the abundance of climate-focused capital positioned for deployment including with federal policy actions this year, the Lab is working on a Good and Green Jobs initiative to support small businesses with the right capital and technical assistance for participating in clean energy deployment opportunities. While much attention is paid in the climate space to the innovative capital structures available to support and scale energy transition – it takes trust and experience to intentionally develop fundable projects in underserved communities. PCV, with its community-based approach and racial justice mission, aims to leverage the Lab’s innovation work to support local engineering, construction, and general contracting businesses – often small to mid-size BIPOC-led businesses – participate in clean energy deployment, and sustainably support the workforce of the future with good and healthy jobs.

Partnership Opportunities

Financial resources: PCV is seeking financial resources to bolster their research capacity through the Good Jobs Innovation Lab. Organizational support will give their team the flexibility to find optimal ways to work across their program teams, implement and evaluate new interventions, and enable them to deploy small grants to community partners as part of their power-sharing focus. Financial support will also help PCV deepen its policy research, build staff capacity to take on more collaborations with policy actors, and maintain enough flexibility to shift resources and take advantage of any policy momentum happening at the local, state, and national levels. Implementing Partners: PCV welcomes good jobs practitioners to contribute content and deeper expertise to their tools and research. They would love to work with benefits, small business marketing, retirement planning and asset-building experts to build out their best-in-class technical assistance tools and advising support for place-based practitioners

Best Practice Information: As PCV continues to improve their programming, PCV can support CDFIs and impact investors with adopting their process of building products and solutions grounded in community input. PCV can also build learning communities around their impact measurement and impact lending underwriting to make sure more investors can practice racial justice impact investing and blended capital programs for good jobs outcomes. Research and Policy Partnerships: PCV aims to catalyze greater systems change by building effective coalitions of mission-driven investors and organizations. PCV can offer strategic partnerships with other organizations to complement research work and data analytics studying the efficacy of different good jobs interventions. They can also offer policy partnerships with other CDFIs, think tanks, and other nonprofits to advocate for policy changes that support small businesses’ ability to offer their employees health, retirement, and leave benefits along with other avenues for poverty alleviation.

NOTE: This Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action is made, implemented, and tracked by the partners listed. CGI is a program dedicated forging new partnerships, providing technical support, and elevating compelling models with potential to scale. CGI does not directly fund or implement these projects.