Starbucks and OFN Launch “Create Jobs for USA”
(Hanover, MD, November 7, 2011) Starbucks Coffee Company is teaming up with Opportunity Finance Network® (OFN) to help create and preserve jobs in America through the “Create Jobs for USA Fund,” a new philanthropic initiative that pools donations from Starbucks customers and concerned citizens into a nationwide fund for community business lending. The innovative program will provide grants to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and OFN members which, in turn, will make loans to for-profit and non-profit businesses and community service organizations (like charter schools) to create and preserve jobs in low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged communities throughout the U.S. CDFIs can apply to the Fund for a grant up to $500,000 based on asset size and pipeline and must use the grants to make loans to community businesses to assist in job creation and retention.
Charter Schools Development Corporation (CSDC), as a member of OFN and the only CDFI focused exclusively on the financial and facility needs of charter schools in educationally and economically underserved communities, has been invited to apply for a grant. CSDC’s nonprofit charter school clients are the very epitome of entrepreneurial small businesses founded and operated by community-focused leaders. A charter school often becomes the nexus around which a neighborhood is revitalized and transformed by providing a cornerstone that creates jobs for local residents and opportunities for children, while attracting additional investment for surrounding economic development.
The Create Jobs for USA Fund was initially seeded with a $5 million contribution from the Starbucks Foundation. Anyone can support the initiative by making a donation to the Create Jobs for USA Fund, either online at www.createjobsforUSA.org or at one of the nearly 7,000 Starbucks stores across the country. 100% of the donations will support the Create Jobs for USA Fund and be used to make grants to CDFIs. Donors who contribute $5 or more will receive a red, white, and blue wristband with the message “Indivisible.” The wristbands are individually handmade in the U.S.A. and all component materials are manufactured by U.S. suppliers, so the effort is also helping support American manufacturing jobs.
OFN, the nation’s leading network of high-performance CDFIs, has also announced that CSDC is a finalist for a $25,000 grant award to CDFIs that have demonstrated excellence in financing. The Wachovia Wells Fargo NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance is the nation’s largest and most prestigious awards program for the CDFI industry. It’s managed by OFN in partnership with the Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation. Winners will be announced at OFN’s Annual Conference on November 15th in Minneapolis (see related announcement under ” CSDC Named Finalist for Wachovia Wells Fargo NEXT Award for Opportunity Finance“).