The key to unlocking poverty for low-income families is not only access to education but access to high-quality education in supportive environments for their households. We are recognizing the Northside Achievement Zone as an organization in north-urban Minneapolis focused on quality education and wrap-around social services for students and their families. Their goals are to create stable households, communities and closing the achievement gap for children of color – making college attainable.
Urban Roots, a St. Paul, MN-based metropolitan non-profit established in 1969 has had a deep run in building vibrant local communities through youth-focused quadruple-bottom line: organizational sustainability, youth-focused education, environmental conservation techniques and knowledge, and training programs. Over the course of their 44-year existence the organization has been instrumental in promoting their brand of social entrepreneurship by developing the skills and capacity of St. Paul youth between the ages of 14-18 and their families to practice ecologically-efficient stewardship of natural resources, entrepreneurship, healthy eating habits and sustainable community agriculture. Last year alone the organization reached nearly 1,400 youth with education and training classes. We salute their efforts to build vibrant, sustainable communities one young person at a time! Visit them at their website to learn more about the great that they are doing!
Oweesta taken from the Mohawk word for money is a CDFI fund that supports and develops Native American CDFIs. From its inception in 2003, Oweesta has build operations that span its two locations of Longmont, CO and Rapid City, SD and supports more than 42 Native American CDFIs in all 50 states of the US. ProMicro salutes this larger-scale venture because of its mission to build and increase assets of low-income Native American entrepreneurs and build resilient local communities through its tribal economic sovereignty initiatives. Read more about Oweesta’s good work with local tribal communities and entrepreneurs here.
We tip our hat this time to ADC for its continued work with African and minority communities, particularly to the Somali communities in the Twin Cities metro to provide support, financing and community social service links. Read Hussein Samatar blog as the Executive Director of ADC.
This month we salute the Greater Bridgeport Community Enterprises/The Green Team (GBCE) and their great work in launching many socially-conscious, green business initiatives in the Bridgeport, CT metro area. Working in economically-depressed neighborhoods, the organization’s most recent efforts have resulted in the launch of Park Green a 100,000-a-year capacity mattress recycling non-profit organization to complement its Green Business Hub, environmental job training and passive residential energy promotion programs for their local communities. Park Green projects to create approximately 25 jobs for ex-offenders and low-income residents in the community. With a triple bottom line of local job creation, family economic resiliency, a and positive environmental impact, GBCE’s ambitious mission is to launch 2 to 3 new community-based businesses that will create 100 local green jobs and pump an estimated $1.8 million into the local economy over the next 5 years. Rather than list all their initiatives, we invite you to visit their website and read about their impressive efforts, local community impacts and sustainable vision for a future economic revitalization of their community based on a green-er economy.
Entrepreneurs look within their eco-systems for cost savings as much as increasing revenues to bolster their bottom lines. Lakota business owners on the Cheyenne River reservation in north-central South Dakota are no different. Most if not all of their traditional business suppliers are located outside the reservation in urban areas such as the capital of Ft. Pierre, about 100 miles to the southeast. Obtaining key high-demand goods and services is more expensive and sometimes unavailable.
Enter Four Bands Community Development Fund (CDFI), a local grassroots lender with more than a decade of experience in financial services, business training and outreach services its clients. The Four Bands CDFI has pioneered a business-to-business strategy to help local Lakota entrepreneurs to produce and buy from each other. This win-win strategy creates value for reservation businesses and helps the Cheyenne River community by reinvesting in its local economy.
Recent market research has shown that business-to-business (B2B) linkages could net millions of dollars in revenues and stimulate job growth for the Cheyenne River community. Tanya Fiddler, Executive Director of Four Bands states, “ This is a new way of approaching economic development for us… our economy has grown to the point where we need to expand our strategies to include business-to-business development.”
ProMicro Consulting salutes Four Bands CDFI as its Entrepreneur of the Month for its innovative thinking to promote grassroots entrepreneurs and local economic development. For more information on Four Bands CDFI and local business successes, check out their website.