JPMorgan Chase Launches New EOCF Video with AXIOS

JPMorgan Chase just released a new video, created in partnership with Axios, highlighting the successes of its Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, of which ICA Fund Good Jobs is a part. The new video – available on YouTube and Facebook – highlights two small businesses: The Clothing Coach founded by Magdy Kotb and ICA investment company Red Bay Coffee, founded by Keba Konte.

The Entrepreneurs of Color Fund (EOCF) was first launched by JPMorgan Chase and the WK Kellogg Foundation in Detroit with the mission of building a continuum of capital and technical support for small businesses run by entrepreneurs of color. ICA joined the initiative when it was launched in San Francisco. The collaborative nature of the initiative has allowed us to join forces with two of our great Bay Area partners: EOCF lead, Working Solutions, and Pacific Community Ventures. Together we are proud to provide local businesses with fair and affordable capital from $5,000 to and above to support them from start-up to scale-up.

The EOCF initiative is particularly important because it allows us to expand on two key priorities outlined by CEO, Allison Kelly: 1. building our capacity to make more equity investments, and 2. working to close the racial wealth gap through investments and technical assistance. We see both as critical components of our commitment to building a new model of small business support and investment.

We are grateful that have been able to partner with JPMorgan Chase’s EOCF initiative and appreciate JPMorgan’s continued support. We believe that the EOCF is a great step on the way to making money move faster and more fairly.

Watch the video below:

Meet us in DC (and SF and Oakland)

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October is here and all month long there are chances to join the ICA team at conferences, workshops, and fundraising opportunities. Here’s a brief summary of where you can find us, coast-to-coast.

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In Washington, DC, you can join us at the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) Conference, and back in the Bay Area we’ll be at the SOCAP and COCAP conferences in San Francisco and Oakland. In DC, you’ll be able to find our CEO Allison Kelly and Board Member Justina Lai on a panel title “Pushing the Boundary of Impact in Small Business Capital”, and in Oakland, Director of Acceleration Dianna Tremblay is speaking on a panels as part of COCAP.

Last but not least, all month long we’re hosting workshops for entrepreneurs at Impact HUB Oakland as part of our 2019 Fall Series.

Here’s to find us all month long:

October 20 – 23: the Opportunity Finance Network Conference | Washington

Next week marks the kick off of this year’s Opportunity Finance Network’s annual conference for CDFIs. As every year, The OFN Conference “provides an unparalleled platform to connect with CDFIs, as well as increase awareness about your commitment to support and strengthen the practice of opportunity finance.”

This year, CEO Allison Kelly is not only joining fellow CDFI leaders in DC but also moderating a panel on how CDFIs like ICA can lead the way in changing the way the industry defines, assesses, and deals with risk. The panel description is below.

Session Title: Pushing the Boundary of Impact in Small Business Capital

Session Description: The CDFI industry has been tremendously impactful in getting capital into the hands of underestimated small businesses across the country. But the gap between those that have access to capital and those that don’t has grown rapidly over the past 40 years. This session will explore the role that CDFIs have played historically on the capital continuum, and where there are new opportunities for CDFIs in the future. Through a context of historical financing, lessons learned from the field, and new ways of approaching risk assessment, we invite you to participate in this lively interactive workshop aimed at discussing financial products and innovative ways of using capital stacks that work more effectively specifically for growing businesses owned by entrepreneurs of color.

Session Presenters:

If you’re coming to OFN, we hope to see you at Monday’s panel, if you haven’t yet registered, limited quantities of tickets are still available.


Dianna Tremblay joins a powerhouse panel at COCAP 2019, the Community Capital Panel in Oakland. The panel, a “Deep Dive” session on Tuesday morning is titled “Structuring an Aggregated Community Capital Fund” and will allow attendees to “get the nuts and bolts of how to aggregate community capital as a tool for closing the racial wealth divide and building power in communities.

Dianna will be joined by fellow experts from the Solidago Foundation, Uptima Business Bootcamp, and BALLE.

Get all the details and if you haven’t registered yet, you can do so at the COCAP website here.


October 22 – 25: Social Capital Conference (SOCAP) | San Francisco

Last year, many of our supporters, friends, sponsors, community members, entrepreneurs, and advisors joined us at our Bridging the Bay as we joined forces with SOCAP 2018.

This year, we’re back at the Fort Mason Center for Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) 2019. Join Allison, Rasheed, Ingrid, Hannah at the conference all Wednesday, Thursday and Friday long.

If you’d like to register for SOCAP, you can still buy multi and single day tickets here.


October – November: the Fall Series continues.

Our month-long series of workshops for early-stage Bay Area small business owners is back for the Fall!

Here are the remaining workshops that are part of the Fall Series:

You can get all of the details and register for Fall Series workshops here.

RSVP: The Fall Accelerator Pitch Event is happening November 13th.

ICA Accelerator Pitch Event Fall 2019

On November 13th, at the Neyborly Event Space, ICA will host our second Accelerator Pitch Event. Current Accelerator companies will deliver their pitches for growth capital in front of a live audience of fellow entrepreneurs, capital providers and investors. The pitches will be followed by investor feedback and plenty of networking time. Light bites and refreshments will be provided by Tacos El Último Baile, an ICA company.

When: November 13th, 2019; 530pm – 830pm
Where: Neyborly @ Jack London – 95 Linden St Ste. 1, Oakland, CA 94607
What: the ICA Fund Good Jobs Accelerator Pitch Event. The Pitch Event is a chance to showcase our ICA Accelerator companies and to celebrate over 23 years of good job creation in the Bay Area.

The Pitch Event:

The Fall Accelerator Pitch Event is a chance for companies to showcase their businesses, what they learned during the Accelerator, and get connected to potential investors. On the day of the event, the current Accelerator cohort will make their pitches to a vetted audience of mission-aligned capital providers, investors, and potential partners. In order to ensure that we maximize impact for our entrepreneurs, the investment-centric Pitch Event is invite-only at this time. If you are interested in attending or learning more, please reach out to the Hannah Shr: hannah@icafundgoodjobs.org

About the pitching companies:

The pitch event is also the culmination for the fourth ICA Accelerator cohort. During their engagement, the cohort focused on their company’s growth and people strategies, as well as identifying the best capital for their growing businesses.

The companies pitching are:

Thank you to our sponsors and partners:

Sponsorship Opportunities:

Your participation and support are instrumental to the success of the Pitch Event, our programming at large, as well as ensuring the success of our mission of investing in high potential businesses to create economic freedom for those who need it most. If you or your organization would like to sponsor the pitch event, just contact us! Email Roohi Singh for more: roohi@icafundgoodjobs.org. You can also download a sponsor packet and get all of the details here.

About the ICA Accelerator:

The ICA Accelerator is a business acceleration program designed for growth-stage, good job-creating companies looking to scale their operations. Over a four-month engagement, ICA supports each Accelerator company to get investment ready and poised to raise capital the capital they need to strategically grow their business. In just over three years, the Accelerator companies have raised $18M, created and retained nearly 400 jobs, and in 2018 grew revenues by more than 27%, year over year.

While the financial success of our companies is always top of mind, the entrepreneurs in the Accelerator are committed to building companies that have good jobs and wealth-building opportunities as core values of their business models.

Companies we’ve worked with:

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Surdna Foundation visits ICA.

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We were honored to host our longtime supporter, the Surdna Foundation, for its board retreat in Oakland. The foundation’s board members toured several businesses that have worked with ICA Fund Good Jobs, including Firebrand Artisan Breads, The Taylor Jay pop-up boutique, and Red Bay Coffee.

The Surdna Foundation board conducted its meeting at another company that has worked with ICA Fund Good Jobs: Impact Hub Oakland. There they had the opportunity to speak with CEO, David Jackson.

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ICA Fund Good Jobs staff members Allison Kelly, Rasheed Mitchell, and Dianna Tremblay rounded out the day sharing an overview of ICA Fund Good Jobs programming and investment approach.

Members of Surdna’s board said the tour was impressive and inspiring. We are grateful to the Surdna Foundation’s ongoing support that makes our work possible!

Below are some more photos from the visit:

Join us: the 2019 Fall Series.

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Join us for the 2019 Fall Series

This October, November, and December: join us all Fall long to get hands-on, actionable tools for growing your business.

Our month-long series of workshops for early-stage Bay Area small business owners is back for the Fall!

All fall-long you can join us for a series fo workshops led by ICA Fund Good Jobs and guest experts, like Ryan Voeltz and Stephanie Louie. All of the series workshops are designed to help Bay Area small business owners get practical and tactical advice to help grow their businesses.

You can sign up for all the sessions below. We hope to see you there!


The 2019 Fall Series sessions:

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October 4th: Sales Basic for Small Business Growth

Join ICA Fund Good Jobs and Ryan Voeltz as we discuss Sales Basics for Small Business Growth! This workshop is perfect for entrepreneurs or sales managers wanting to learn how to cultivate and effectively manage sales pipelines and relationships to help grow your business.

About the Presenter: Ryan is the co-founder and former owner of Precision Tees, a manufacturer of adjustable-height driving range golf tees. Beyond his experience building a small business, he has spent 15+ years in various professional sales roles, working with a wide variety of Sales Pipeline Management systems--some better than others. Currently Ryan is the N. CA & NV territory manager for US Bank's Asset-Based Finance group.

Sign up here!


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Join ICA Fund Good Jobs and Stephanie Louie for this informative and engaging session on developing go-to-market strategies using market research.

This session will cover how to create effective go-to-market strategies using both qualitative and quantitative market research. Through exercises and group activities, you will walk away with actionable steps to help you better understand your target customer, optimize your product and determine ideal messaging before launch.

About the Presenter: An entrepreneur at heart, Stephanie Louie is a results-driven senior executive with 15+ years experience in brand and marketing strategy, consumer research and innovation. She is passionate about discovering that golden insight and building businesses, brands, and products that meet the needs of today’s customer. She holds an MBA from USC and a BS in Business Administration from UC Berkeley.

Sign up here!


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November 5th: Small Business Branding Basics

Join ICA Fund Good Jobs and Majorminor for an engaging workshop on brand strategy for small businesses.

This workshop is perfect for early-stage businesses wanting to learn more about the elements of a brand and why a thoughtful brand strategy is critically important for your business.

About the Presenters: Majorminor, founded by Alex Jieh and Rob Martin, is a studio based in San Francisco and Los Angeles. They design brand systems, campaigns, and environments to better connect businesses with their audience. With over a decade of experience, their multidisciplinary approach to their craft makes them versatile and equipped for any challenge, consistently producing lasting and inspired results for their clients.

Sign up here!


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November 22nd: Best Practice for Successful Facebook Ads

Join the ICA Fund Good Jobs team and learn how to get the most out of Facebook ads for your business. All attendees will receive $25 in free Ad Credits* and additional resources from Facebook!

This webinar is perfect for beginners or businesses wanting to learn more about how to optimize your advertising dollars on Facebook. We'll share best practices on determining your ad objective, audience, budget, and creating effective content.

*Ad credit will be provided after completion of a short post-workshop survey

Sign up here!


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December 6th: Pitching 101: Perfecting Your Pitch

Join ICA Fund Good Jobs and Janessa Harmon for an interactive workshop on perfecting your pitch to capital providers.

This workshop is perfect for entrepreneurs who want to learn the essentials of pitching. This session will cover best practicestips and tricks, and give a lucky few a chance to get feedback on your pitch.

About the Presenter: Janessa Harmon focuses on venture capital operations, collaborating with diverse entrepreneurs to support our ecosystem-building initiatives, and is passionate about tech driven innovations that positively impact our society. Previously, Janessa worked at SMASH, the signature education program of the Kapor Center, where she managed development operations to support partnerships and growth. Janessa holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of San Francisco.

Sign up here!

We're sponsoring SVI Women!

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We are excited to announce that we are sponsoring Social Venture Institute Women, Bay Area.

Social Venture Institute Women (SVIW) is "a unique convening offering the mission-based entrepreneur an opportunity to share challenges, successes, and experiences with peers in an atmosphere of trust and goodwill." The next convening kicks off April 14th and we are proud to announce that we are now official sponsors.

SVI Women Bay Area is produced by a powerhouse collective of Bay Area women leaders including our CEO, Allison Kelly, ICA advisors Sherri Pittman and Pamela Chaloult, and long-time ICA supporter Esther Park. The next convening is a great opportunity for women from throughout California to participate in high-impact workshops, learn from each other, and connect with other mission-based leaders. 

The application for the next SVIW convening opens soon and scholarships are available. To learn more about the event, including to find the top 5 reasons to attend SVI Women, click here.