Pacific Community Ventures engages small businesses, investors, and policymakers to build an economy that works for everyone.
In 2016 the U.S. unemployment rate dropped below 5% for the first time in ten years, yet almost half of American workers are stuck in low-wage jobs at places like strip malls and fast food restaurants, the number of small businesses are at all-time lows, and race and where you’re born are the biggest factors for financial success in life. It’s a tale of two Americas, where far too many workers and communities are being left behind.
Pacific Community Ventures is strengthening communities by empowering American small business, by championing higher-quality jobs, by fueling equity and opportunity, and by helping impact investors deploy more capital - more effectively - to economically underserved communities from coast to coast.
To achieve our mission we provide small businesses working in underserved communities with access to the capital and expertise needed to successfully grow their businesses and create good jobs, test new business tools and approaches which can be scaled through partnerships, and conduct research and evaluation so that impact investors will deploy more capital more effectively to underserved communities.
In 2016, companies working with our advising and lending programs had 44% job growth - surpassing national (1.7%) and state (2.6%) rates, and grew their revenues by 20% -- with almost all of those businesses based in low-income areas or owned by women or people of color.
Pacific Community Ventures and Businessadvising.org offer an unparalleled opportunity both for volunteers and for small business owner clients. Volunteering as an advisor is a unique opportunity that directly helps our communities by supporting small business and actually creating jobs. I've personally been involved in supporting an Oakland business that has doubled their revenue and has hired two people! I also enjoy getting to roll my sleeves up and learn about new businesses, I've worked with a jeweler, a coffee roaster, and a janitorial service. Each has had its own unique challenges that have helped me grow as a business owner and entrepreneur.
I was a small business owner and know the challenges of running all aspects of a small business. As a business owner, it's an impossible challenge to excel at what you do best while at the same time trying to be an "expert" in HR, finance, marketing, etc. As someone who has built a body of experience/knowledge, it's so rewarding to be able to give back to a small business owner. Helping a business owner overcome an issue or solve an issue has been so rewarding for me. My advice not only helps the business but I can see it helping the owner. They know they have a resource available and I can see them begin to lose a sense of isolation. Business Advising isn't a big commitment but I think it's a huge help for small businesses.
I have enjoyed volunteering with Pacific Community Ventures and really like the people whom I have consulted. As a small business owner who has grown a business over time, it is enjoyable for me to help people in a similar situation. Not only can I give them tips and another point of view on their challenges, but they keep me on my toes too. One of the main challenges of running a small business is not having others around to discuss goals, strategies and other events and I can relate to that situation. A great benefit is to see their business grow as we work together.