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create / 2015

The Microenterprise Program

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by

We would like to set up an incubator facility for our clients to use as workspace, office space and a store front.

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • Central LA
  • San Fernando Valley
  • Westside

How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

  • Engage residents and stakeholders
  • Implement a pilot or new project
  • Expand a pilot or a program
  • Mobilize for systems change

How will your proposal improve the following “Create” metrics?

  • Concentration of manufacturing activity in LA
  • Minority- and women-owned firms
  • Recruiting and retention rates for local higher education institutions (Dream Metric)
  • Percentage of graduates from local higher education institutions that remain in LA County 5 years after graduating (Dream Metric)
  • Unemployment rates (and opportunities) for the formerly incarcerated (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to create.

Homelessness in LA has sky-rocketed and creative solutions are needed to solve this problem. Our organization is doing its part by providing business and entrepreneurial training to residents of homeless shelters throughout Los Angeles. While our clients are getting excellent business training and are even partnered with a team graduate students who volunteer to help them with their business ideas, our clients still lack basic resources needed to actually launch and run their businesses. Many of our clients have struggled with homelessness, addictions and have been incarcerated for many years. For some entrepreneurship is their only option for income. Last summer we were able to secure a small facility for a few of our clients and successfully launched 4 new businesses. However the space could only hold 4 businesses and was also restrictive on the types of businesses permitted to use the space. We have 14 new clients currently going through our training program that will need access to space to launch their businesses in a few months. This funding will allow us to secure a larger facility to help more of our clients launch, grow and operate their small businesses.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

The most obvious performance indicator for us is the number of businesses that are able to launch as well as the amount of revenue the various businesses generate. We are also looking at how many of our clients are able to move out of the shelters and into permanent housing. Additionally there are qualitative items that are relevant to our work, such as increased quality of life as well as the pride/self confidence that goes along with entrepreneurship - especially for those coming from a background of homelessness, poverty, domestic violence and substance abuse.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money (financial capital)
  • Volunteers/staff (human capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)
  • Education/training
  • Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support