Inaugural Partnerships in Boston, Seattle, Chicago, Denver, Indianapolis, Austin, and Portland will grow employment opportunities for thousands of people
SAN FRANCISCO (February 8, 2016) – In collaboration with the federal Social Innovation Fund (SIF), REDF announces 22 social enterprises in California and 7 other regions will receive a combination of growth capital and advisory services to scale up effective social enterprises. These ‘double-bottom line’ social enterprises will contribute to a more inclusive workforce by providing job opportunities to people who face significant barriers to work, while operating sustainable businesses that will deliver results for years to come.
Despite a growing economy, most cities still face increasing rates of homelessness, young adults who are disconnected from school and work, and recidivism. REDF estimates more than 21 million people in these populations are jobless but could go to work with the right opportunity. REDF’s 18 years of experience and independently conducted research show that social enterprises offer a sustainable and cost-effective approach to addressing these challenges.
The social enterprises that REDF funds are mission-driven businesses that earn and reinvest their revenue to provide people with jobs so they can gain experience, have greater social and economic mobility, participate in the economy and build a stable future. Since 1997, REDF’s social enterprise investments have resulted in the employment of more than 10,000 people who face barriers to employment. REDF’s advisory services have helped the social enterprises grow and generate more than $155 million in revenue.
To select the grantees, REDF held a national competition for social enterprises to receive grants of at least $100,000 annually for up to five years. The nationwide competition received over 200 applications from social enterprises in 36 states. From the robust pool of applicants, 22 social enterprises were selected.
The selected organizations will reach thousands of people nationally through these new resources. At the same time, REDF will foster deeper collaborations with the business community, philanthropy and government to catalyze and accelerate growth in order to reach many more people.
The national expansion is partially funded by a federal grant from the SIF totaling $7 million over the next two years, with an anticipated additional $10.5 million, depending upon federal appropriations to the SIF. REDF was the only organization in the nation to receive a second grant award from SIF to build the evidence base and further scale up the approach funded by the initial grant.
REDF will match the federal funding 1:1 with private, philanthropic support, and the social enterprises that receive grants from REDF will also match the funding 1:1 with earned revenue and private contributions. As part of the effort, REDF will develop even more rigorous evidence of the results of social enterprise for the people employed, society and taxpayers and the cost savings and benefits to taxpayers and society.
Last year, an independent study by the widely respected organization Mathematica Policy Research of seven social enterprises supported by REDF showed the impact of these businesses:
“The Social Innovation Fund provides pathways into the workforce for people who face significant barriers to employment, said Damian Thorman, Director of the Social Innovation Fund. “REDF has a long history of impact. We are excited that REDF’s award will support the creation of job opportunities for thousands more people across the country, and show the potential of this innovative approach to solving some of our country’s most pressing challenges.”
“REDF is investing in social enterprise growth because this is a game-changing moment when we can and must open up new opportunities to people who want to work and just need the chance to do so,” said REDF President Carla Javits. “We applaud the Congress and the Administration for supporting the Social Innovation Fund, and private donors and foundations that are stepping up to match this support. We are inspired by the nonprofits that are taking the risk to create new business models, and most of all by courageous men and women who are overcoming the odds, going to work and transforming their lives. We aim to catalyze the business community, philanthropy, government and nonprofits to build a vibrant ecosystem, and create jobs and hire people who need them, while developing an even more rigorous evidence base so that we can all do more of ‘what works best’.”
“Oakland is grateful for the work REDF and the federal Social Innovation Fund (SIF) are doing to invest in, and grow social enterprises in our city. We are proud to partner with social enterprises to provide jobs for our residents who face some of the greatest barriers to employment,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “REDF has a strong evidence-based track record in Oakland and across California, and we’re thrilled to be part of the national effort to grow social enterprises to make Oakland a more vibrant and equitable city, meet the talent needs of our businesses, and give Oaklanders the dignity and resources that come from meaningful employment.”
“A job is the first step to opportunity and prosperity, and getting a foot in the door can transform a person’s life,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The work that REDF and SIF are doing with social enterprises is making a tremendous difference in L.A. — helping us meet the needs of local businesses, while assisting people who face the greatest barriers to full-time employment. A national expansion brings new opportunities to build on that success and share our experiences with other cities across America.”
Before Katelyn Dalton found Goodwill of Silicon Valley, a REDF-supported social enterprise, she was homeless, living in a tent in a public park, and struggling with addiction. Today she is working for a social enterprise, helping high school foster youth lay a solid foundation for career success. Ultimately, her goal is to run her own social enterprise. “We all have the possibility to reach our dreams, but without support, those dreams won’t become a reality. A social enterprise helped me turn my life around. And now, I am paying it forward.”
Below are the new organizations selected to receive funding from REDF*:
1. Chrysalis – Los Angeles, Pacoima, Santa Monica
2. Center for Employment Opportunities – Oakland, Los Angeles, Santa Clara, San Bernardino, San Diego and multiple states
3. Coaltion for Responsible Community Development – Los Angeles
4. Community Housing Partnership – San Francisco
5. Conservation Corps North Bay – Novato, Cotati, San Rafael
6. Goodwill of Silicon Valley – Santa Clara County
7. Homeboy Industries – Los Angeles
8. Juma Ventures – San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Clara, and multiple states
9. Mile High Ministries – Denver
10. Women’s Bean Project – Denver
11. The Cara Program – Chicago
12. New Moms – Chicago
13. RecycleForce – Indianapolis
14. More Than Words – Boston, Waltham
15. Roca – Chelsea, Boston, Springfield
16. UTEC Inc. – Lowell, Lawrence
17. Central City Concern – Portland
18. New Avenues for Youth – Portland
19. Goodwill Industries of Central Texas – Austin
20. FareStart – Seattle
21. Millionair Club, Inc. – Seattle
22. Orion Industries – Auburn
*Pending grantee organization’s board approval.
The Social Innovation Fund is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve.
The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) is a powerful approach to transforming lives and communities, an approach that positions the federal government to be a catalyst for impact – mobilizing private resources to find and grow community solutions with evidence of results. As part of the SIF program, REDF must match the federal funds dollar-for-dollar and again by the organizations they select to receive grants. To date, REDF has received Social Innovation Fund matching investments from private funders including Bank of America, the Kresge, Weingart, Annie E. Casey, Woodcock, California
Wellness, F.B. Heron, Kellogg, San Francisco and California Community Foundations, The California Endowment, JP Morgan Chase, and many other foundations and individual donors.
REDF creates jobs and employment opportunities for people facing the greatest barriers to work – like young people who are disconnected from school or work, people who’ve been homeless or in prison, and people with mental health disabilities. Founded in 1997 by George R. Roberts (KKR), REDF provides funding and business expertise to mission-driven organizations to launch and grow social enterprises, which are businesses with a “double bottom line” that make money in order to employ people with multiple barriers to employment. REDF has helped over 10,000 people in California get jobs and find hope. Now REDF is taking best practices learned from 18 years of experience to grow their impact nationally and help thousands more people work, advance, and create a more stable future. For more information, visit http://redf.org/. To learn more about REDF’s portfolio organizations visit http://redf.org/what-we-do/invest/.