Starbucks Supports Community Development Financial Institution to Create U.S. Jobs

Starbucks Supports Community Development Financial Institution to Create U.S. Jobs

by Julie Fahnestock

Multimedia from this Release

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - 9:50am



Think back to 2011. The worst of the recession in the US is over (for some.)   It's been a few years, but you can now afford to get back to your regular patronizing of your local Starbucks.  As you order your morning caffeine the barista asks if you'd like to help Starbucks create more USA-based jobs. She hands you a red, white and blue wristband with a zinc plate inscribed with the word 'Indivisible.' The barista tells you that the bracelets are made in the USA and from 100% USA-manufactured materials. 'They are part of Starbucks efforts to put Americans back to work,' she says, as she hands you your Guatemalan grown, Mexican roasted coffee.   So, what exactly did Starbucks do with the profits of those wristbands? Did they really have the creativity and leverage to put Americans back to work?

The campaign, "Create Jobs for USA," claims to have 'helped more than 5,000 Americans keep their jobs or get back to work.'   Starbucks used the power of their brand and their household recognition to create funding mechanisms for the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), the leading national network of community development financial institutions (CDFIs). CDFIs are typically smaller, private financial institutions that provide lending to small businesses, non-profits and individuals who may have limited access to affordable lending opportunities. The Create Jobs for USA Fund awarded capital grants to OFN-screened CDFIs that in turn, used these monies as an asset, leveraging them for bigger loans from traditional banks or investors. Simply put, the money raised by Create Jobs for the USA campaign served as credit or debt leverage.

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Julie Fahnestock is passionate about telling the story of where business meets good. She lives in West Palm Beach, Florida and is currently pursuing her MBA in Managing for Sustainability at Marlboro Graduate School in Vermont. She has a background in international development and grassroots organizing and is passionate about equitable wages, labor rights and the global income disparity. If you can't find Julie, don't worry. Grab your board and head south on A1A. She's probably surfing somewhere along Florida's coast.