Chelsea Oruche REDF asked 3 weeks ago

Is Coronavirus impacting your Social Enterprise? Have you discovered any local or national resources to help mitigate its impacts on your business or participants?

Johnny Clarke replied 2 weeks ago

Not yet, however we are sticking to our core focus knowing that funding will flow soon.

Chelsea Oruche REDF replied 2 weeks ago

Thanks for Sharing Johnny! Where are you located and what is your Enterprise? As you come across funding opportunities in your area, we would love if you could share them here! Keep up the good work!

Johnny Clarke replied 2 weeks ago

You are welcome, most of our funds will be derived from Disaster Recovery. We are located in San Jose CA, where we teach Cisco Networking Academy to return citizens from incarceration.

To your question, we have local access to emergency funds by pivoting our mission to the second and third pillars (technical education, local employment, and affordable housing). These core values allow us to articulate the need for example showers in the homeless shelters, and provide local employment and technical education when we build them, etc.

Nationally we are using SMB partners to use their IRS179 deductions to improve on materials and hardware. We are reaching out through social networks like Facebook and Twitter to drive small crowdfunding campaigns, and direct the money to needed resources like ProjectWehope.org.

As a social enterprise, our value can be identified in SROI so the outcome is most important and finding funds becomes a natural exercise and finding them equally.

I hope that helps, as for resources:
https://sfciti.org/covid-19-update-from-the-sf-tech-community/

Be Well!
Johnny

Angie Smith replied 1 week ago

Hi! My name is Angie and I am in Santa Cruz with the Homeless Garden Project. A majority of our staff is working from home (less than 8). However, our program participants are still working on the farm taking extra pre-cautions. This decision was made based on farms and farmers markets being deemed “essential”. I am concerned with our participants being exposed by transportation to the farm (some on buses, walking, biking) and also with the man of them sharing living spaces. I am looking for others opinions to see if I am off-base with this thought process as it conflicts with our organization.

Yodit Beyene replied 6 days ago

Hi Angie, This challenge sounds very familiar. A lot of the Social Enterprises (SEs) REDF is working with are struggling with the same challenges. Some have decided to close, some have decided to carefully manage social distancing and stay open. I am happy to follow up with you to help on this question and suggest other SEs you can talk to as you make your decision.

1 Answers
Nicole Simoneaux at REDF answered 5 days ago

Great questions Angie. I know many SEs are still operating in partial capacity. And I have heard at least one other SE talk about challenges of a similar nature: the van transport they usually provide was no longer possible because you can’t do social distancing inside the van. Sounds like SEs who are still operating may need some guidance (and supplies?) to help keep employees safe and healthy.