6 ICA Fund Good Jobs Companies among Indie Awards Winners!

The Oakland community celebrated the Eleventh Annual Oakland Indie Awards last week. The awards ceremony, mixer, and celebration, held at the Oakland Museum of California were hosted by the Beneficial State Foundation and were a testament to the energy, community, and positive impact of our local entrepreneurs and independent small business owners. 

Pollinate Farm and Garden, a 2017 Greenie Award Indie Award winner and an ICA Fund Good Jobs Education company.  

Pollinate Farm and Garden, a 2017 Greenie Award Indie Award winner and an ICA Fund Good Jobs Education company.  

Town Biz won the Ripple Effect award at the 2017 Indie Awards. Town Biz is an ICA Fund Good Jobs Education company. 

Town Biz won the Ripple Effect award at the 2017 Indie Awards. Town Biz is an ICA Fund Good Jobs Education company. 

The ICA Fund Good Jobs team joined friends, supporters, and hundreds from the local small business community at the awards. 

And we were even more excited to see six ICA Fund Good Jobs past and present companies on stage as Indie Award winners! 

The ICA Fund Good Jobs companies in the winners circle:

And of course a big, heartfelt congratulations to all of the inspiring nominees and winners of the 2017 Oakland Indie Awards. 

PS: Mamacitas Cafe has a Kickstarter to help fund their new location! Support them now:

Our 2017 Impact:

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 11.52.09 AM-15.png

Our 2017 Impact Report is here! 

The rapid changes taking place across the Bay Area make Oakland a critical testing ground for our mission. Ours has become the fastest growing city in the nation, with the highest annual rent increases, and the top ten “hottest neighborhoods” in the Bay Area.

It comes as no surprise that this radical shift has strained local businesses and longtime residents. Our work to help entrepreneurs create accessible good jobs is more important now than ever before.

In 2016, we served more than 140 companies through educational offerings like Path 2 Cash, Growth Strategies, and Start Up Strategies. We also launched our first ever Good Jobs Accelerator. Moreover, by leveraging a more structured service model, our dedicated pro bono advisors increased the time they spent supporting entrepreneurs by nearly 30%.

Though we are proud of our impact over the last 20 years, our model for the 20 years to come must be more responsive, more sustainable, and more scalable. We are poised to double down on our track record and learn in a deeper way. 

As we envision the next 20 years of ICA Fund Good Jobs, we are grounded by the incredible impact of our entrepreneurs, the unwavering support of our partners, and the enthusiasm and innovation of our team. Together, we will build an equitable economy, where everyone has access to a good job. 

And now, I encourage you to read our newest Impact Report, to read the stories of our entrepreneurs, and to learn more about our work. And if you'd like to get a printed copy of the report, we'd be happy to send you one. 



Sean Daniel Murphy, CEO


Back to the Roots Teams Up with Carmelo Anthony

Exciting news out of Oakland (and New York!):

Our very first investment company, Back to the Roots, has just teamed up with NBA All Star Carmelo Anthony to promote healthy eating in New York City schools as part of its #TakeBackBreakfast campaign! The company's cereals which come, in four flavors and feature a maximum of four ingredients, will be available to more than one million kids in the New York City school system.

We've worked with Back to the Roots since their beginning. In fact, in 2014, Fund Good Jobs was the first investor the company which last year secured a $10,000,000 Series A funding. We're extremely proud of Alejandro and Nikhil and the entire Back to the Roots team – their growth, vision, and values – and we're even more excited to see where their journey takes them.  

Growth Strategies Starts April 28th

Spring is always an exciting time at ICA Fund Good Jobs. April is the time when we get to meet the many exciting new companies that are joining us as part of our signature small business education course, Growth Strategies. The 2017 iteration of Growth Strategies kicks off at the Lorry I Lokey School of Business and Public Policy at Mills College two weeks from today, on April 28th and we can hardly wait. 

By now you probably know that the Growth Strategies, is taught by long-time entrepreneur and educator Michael C. Bush and that it offers a practical, hands-on, and actionable curriculum for local small businesses. You’ve probably heard us refer to it as the “entry point to the ICA Fund Good Jobs network” or as a “mini-MBA” for entrepreneurs. So this time, we want to tell you a bit about some of the companies in this year’s cohort. 

Last year, the 2016 Growth Strategies cohort created and retained over 400 jobs and saw job growth increase, year over year, by close to 70%. 
Michael C. Bush teaches Growth Strategies.

Michael C. Bush teaches Growth Strategies.

There are around 50 companies joining Growth Strategies 2017, spanning a variety of industries, headquartered in a over a dozen Bay Area cities. Together companies like Apprenta, Civil Pops, Yahshi Bakes, and Courtsmith Basketball Industries, to name a few are projecting to create over hundreds of jobs. 

Growth Strategies is an integral part of our mission to educate, accelerate, and invest in local small businesses. In fact, all of the Seed Fund and Accelerator companies have gone through ICA Fund Good Jobs Education And this year, Good Jobs Accelerator companies like 4505 Meats and EBY Construction will be sending leaders from their teams to join the series. 

We look forward to keeping you up-to-date on this year’s cohort, and you can always learn more by checking out our upcoming Impact Report, and stay connected by following us social media! 

Check out this video by Growth Strategies 2017 company Courtsmith Industries.

Good Jobs Accelerator Reaches Midpoint

This past week, entrepreneurs, advisors, and partners in the 2016 Good Jobs Accelerated gathered for a half-day work session at the beautiful OMI Gallery at Impact HUB Oakland. 

The intensive event, led by Good Jobs Accelerator Manager, Dianna Tate, was designed to allow all of the business owners in this year's Accelerator to share, learn from, and listen to each other's experience. At the start of the morning, each entrepreneur presented a twitter-length introduction of her or his business and a brief summary of her learnings to date. 

Joined by strategic advisors and a couple of Good Jobs Accelerator partners, the entrepreneurs then had the opportunity to discuss their successes, leading concerns, and make plans for the future. Below are some snapshots from the work session.

Three ICA Fund Good Jobs Companies in the News!

The ICA Fund Good Jobs network spans many industries and includes all types of companies. Case in point, the companies featured in the news this week. From bringing top-notch affordable music education, to making amazing locally-baked home-made breads, to artisanal sweets made by a former banker, here are three ICA Fund Good Jobs companies that made headlines:  

1. Reem's – "Leavening the Resistance: Reem's Brings Traditional Arab Bakery to Oakland's Fruitvale"

First, read about Good Jobs Accelerator company Reem's. Reem's run by Reem Assil is an an "Arab street food" bakery, and is currently in the process of securing a new location in Oakland's Fruitvale. Accelerator Company Reem's. Reem, who's opening a new location in Oakland's Fruitvale neighborhood talks with the East Bay Express about how her past as a community organizer informs her current work and why "bread is more important then ever". Read the entire article here.

2. Oakland Public Conservatory of Music – "From Kansas City to Oakland, passing on a musical legacy"

Next, check out a great and in-depth interview with Angela Wellman, founder of the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music, a Growth Strategies Graduate. In the KALW interview, Angela talks about her Kansas City roots and her mission of bringing top-notch music education to Oakland. Listen to the whole story here. 

3. CC Made – "Meet the former banker who became Berkeley’s best brittle maker"

Last but not least is a great profile from the San Francisco Chronicle featuring Cassandra Chen's CC Made, a Good Jobs Accelerator company. In it, Cassandra talks about her roots, her past as a banker, and about her learnings as an entrepreneur. PS – her sweet and savory brittles are amazing! Read on here. 

Any stories we missed? Tell us about them on Facebook!