While the Partnership works to help disengaged and disconnected youth graduate from high school or earn a GED, it will also strive to expand economic opportunity in under-resourced communities so that young adults and others have access to jobs. To that end, the Partnership will support and encourage job training programs, microfinance, and community entrepreneurship initiatives.
For example, the Partnership might explore funding entrepreneurs seeking to launch businesses in under-resourced communities with small microfinance loans and early stage equity capital. Microfinance brings small loans to people who ordinarily could not get the loans in order to start new businesses. Best-in-class microfinance initiatives produce a 98 percent repayment rate so that these loans, when re-paid, provide loans for more entrepreneurs. In short, this continuous process means that a dollar invested through microfinance may produce about 12 dollars in loans over time, resulting in great social returns that help people with employment and stimulate the local economy.
The Partnership may further support employment efforts by providing additional non-financial supports such as mentorship or access to networks and social enterprise incubators to help individuals succeed in starting businesses in under-resourced communities.
The governing board and staff will determine specific programming design and criteria with input from community stakeholders and other experts.