By Karen Axelton
Next time you go to Starbucks, you can not only enjoy some delicious coffee and treats, but also contribute to small businesses in your community (maybe even yours). Starbucks, in partnership with Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) has launched the Create Jobs for USA program to create and sustain jobs in underserved communities.
To kick off the program, the Starbucks Foundation donated $5 million, and as of today, you can donate, too. One hundred percent of all donations go to OFN, which will distribute the funds to qualified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in its member network. The more than 180 CDFIs in the OFN network invest in businesses that benefit low-income, low-wealth and other disadvantaged communities in the U.S. Many of these businesses struggle to secure financing from conventional financing institutions.
Create Jobs for USA says that giving $5 will provide $35 worth of financing for community businesses. Each donor of $5 or more will receive an “Indivisible” wristband. And if you’re concerned about the irony of giving to small businesses by patronizing a huge conglomerate, you can still get coffee at your local coffee shop and donate online at CreateJobsforUSA.org.
CDFIs that want to be considered for OFN Membership can find out more at www.opportunityfinance.net, and small businesses that want to find out more about CDFIs in their area can visit OFN’s Find a CDFI locator at www.opportunityfinance.net/industry/industry_locator.asp.
Create Jobs for USA is also hoping to inspire dialogue about ways to encourage job creation. You can share your ideas on the Create Jobs for USA Facebook page, follow the organization on Twitter and sign up for email alerts at the website.