“Be Clear About Your Mission, Your Vision, and Your Values” #SFSBW2016 Interview: ICA Fund Good Jobs
What is your organization’s mission?
We work high-growth small business to create accessible good jobs. We believe that successful businesses start with good employers and we are committed to educating, accelerating, and investing in good job-creating local businesses.
What are your organization’s recent accomplishments that demonstrate how you have helped the small business community?
Last year we invested in two local companies, Firebrand Artisan Breads and Red Bay Coffee, bringing our total invested amount to over $2,000,000. We invest in high-growth companies that are committed to providing good jobs and that have gone through our education and accelerator programs.
What tools and resources has your organization created to help small businesses tap into new opportunities to reach new customers, increase their revenue, and grow their business?
Our mission as an organization is explicitly to help small business owners scale their operations, grow their revenues, acquire more customers, and create more good jobs. This year we officially recombined as ICA Fund Good Jobs bringing our Education, our Good Jobs Accelerator, and our Investments arm all under one roof.
San Francisco has been experiencing quite the transformation. What is your organization doing to attract and support new and younger small business owners? What resources do you offer to entrepreneurs and small businesses to get started?
Our Education program is the entry point for all businesses in the ICA Fund Good Jobs network and it is the perfect way for those businesses to get involved. It is designed to cater to the needs of growing, mission-aligned businesses of varying sizes, through offerings like our flagship Growth Strategies course, or our Startup Strategies class.
San Francisco is known for its diverse culture. How does your organization ensure that the small businesses that make this city unique are able to stay in San Francisco?
We are fiercely committed to supporting women-owned businesses, businesses owned by people of color, and to ensuring that as our businesses grow they are not just creating jobs but creating access to good jobs for those who need them most. In this way we believe we are not only helping current entrepreneurs but setting the stage for generations of local business owners and ensuring that the jobs these businesses create remain accessible to those living in our communities.
What words of advice or wisdom would you like to share with small business owners?
In the words of our longtime strategic advisor and esteemed entrepreneur Michael C. Bush, “Profit is an opinion, cash is fact”. We tailor our advice to the needs of our entrepreneurs but this fact is always true; growth is important, PR and Accolades are great, but they all mean nothing without a tight cash flow.
Read their Agenda for Action Hear from other small businesses that have used ICA Fund Good Jobs to tap into new opportunities and grow their businesses.