On November 16-17th Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC), one of ICIC’s Urban Business Initiatives, held its annual culminating conference at Columbia University in New York City. ICCC helps firms achieve sustained growth through education and training, while increasing the flow of capital to urban businesses and underserved communities. In the last session of the conference, graduates put their ICCC education to work by pitching to potential capital providers.
ICCC is the country’s only program that educates investment-ready inner city businesses about forms of capital and then matches them with capital providers. In it’s 11-year history, the national program has made significant impact on urban economies and job creation (Learn more about the program’s regional and national impact in the 2016 Impact Report):
12,431 jobs created
61% of jobs paying over $40,000
$1.4 billion in capital raised
120% increase in average capital raised by minority business owners
37% of companies are women-owned
The inspiring successes of alumni
ICCC participants overcame many obstacles to succeed before we met them. After completing the program, their inspirational stories continue to get better! Here are a few highlights from our successful alumni, which are told in full in the 2016 Impact Report:
Milestone since ICCC: 279% increase in full-time employees
Path to growth: Co-founder Jose de la Rosa combined his business acumen as a former financial analyst with his wife’s nursing experience to start Guardian Healthcare, a home healthcare business. They differentiated their mission by providing a model of specialized and culturally competent care for inner city families, given by members of the communities they serve. Guardian has a multilingual staff from diverse backgrounds, and they often frequent the same grocery stores,churches, and schools as clients. Jose came to ICCC in need of capital to hire more employees and expand his office space. He not only expanded his financial knowledge, but also learned the importance of managing employee engagement and retention. After completing the program, Jose raised enough capital to buy a 13,000 square foot building to house new staff. His new knowledge helped him develop a philosophy of paying above market rate for the right people in a highly competitive industry and building a “family” culture. Guardian’s culture has kept turnover exceptionally low and ensures Jose has the right people in the right places for stable, long-term growth.
Giroux Glass, Inc.
Milestone since ICCC: 44% revenue growth
Path to growth: For over 70 years, this Los Angeles-based glass and architectural metals contracting company has put emphasis on high quality into all aspects of their organization, which can be felt the moment you walk into any of the company’s four offices. Giroux Glass participated in the inaugural ICCC program and their C-suite leadership teamcontinues to return to ICCC to refine, strategize, and innovate as they plan their growth for the next 70 years to come. All the while, employee engagement has been their secret ingredient and is, in part, why they proudly adopted an employee stock ownership plan in 2007. By enabling their employees to become personally vested in the success and growth of the company, they’ve created a culture of loyalty that continues to be a competitive advantage. With the leadership and guidance of Anne-Merelie Murrell, Chairman of the Board and current CEO Nataline Lomedico, the company plans on becoming a 100% ESOP company within the next 6 years.
International Medical Interpreters of the North Shore (IMINS)
Milestone since ICCC: 3 business deals with ICCC participants since 2015
Path to growth: Cynthia Schenck, CEO of IMINS, and her husband William Schenck, its President, are a small business power couple. Together, they run an interpreter company serving diverse institutions in the Greater Boston area in over 60 languages. Cynthia knew at age 7 she wanted to run a company. She is thedaughter of an entrepreneur who taught her the keys to a successful small business—great business ethics, integrity, and excellent customer service. William contributes his financial prowess with a background in finance and business strategy. After completing ICCC in 2015, they secured 3 new customers who the met through the program. They also realized the need to hire two new employees, a development inspired in part by ICCC’s strategy and talent management sessions. The program helped them put the vital employee engagement piece into practice and translated into new growth opportunities and enhanced success.
To read more success stories like this, view ICCC’s 2016 Impact Report.